Seekonk High School, Seekonk, Massachusetts
Seekonk High School Biology II students
Fall 2010 marks the third year that all 10th grade Biology II students and their teachers joined the watershed study project initiated by AP Biology students at Seekonk High School. The students traveled to two sites, one upstream and one downstream, along the Runnins River, which is a river that meanders through the Town of Seekonk. The upstream site was located at the home of the Masons off of Woodward Ave and the downstream site was located just below Burr’s Pond, both in Seekonk. The four Biology II classes were split between the two site locations and it was their job to assess the health of the river at these sites. This highly successful venture allowed these students to relate ecological concepts to real, hands on research. Students, with the assistance of Kim McCoy, collected and filtered water grab samples, collected macroinvertebrate samples, and took pictures of their classmate’s activities and of organisms, both terrestrial and aquatic, along the river at both sites. Additionally, students completed streamside bio-survey sheets, measured the width, depth and flow of the river, and attempted to identify organisms using field guides.
Back in the classroom, students learned how to measure phosphate levels using a Hach 2010 spectrophotometer and then graphed the data using Excel in order to ascertain the meaning and importance of phosphates with regard to river health. Students also used Excel to depict the river bottom and calculate the average flow of the river. Macroinvertebrate identification and counts were completed as a class to calculate the Major Group Biotic Index (MGBI) and determine the meaning of the results.
This is the third year that the Biology II students from Seekonk High School have presented their data at the Watershed Access Lab (WAL) Annual Symposium Bridgewater State University and also the first year we have had two teachers trained at the WAL to perform these experiments. Students are also involved in presentations at the Seekonk Land Trust Annual Meeting in March and at Seekonk High School in May. Presentations will also be available on the SHS Science Department webpage in June 2011 and will be found at the following link: http://shs.seekonk.sharpschool.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=243736&pageId=280462.
Seekonk High School, Seekonk, Massachusetts (2011). The Runnins River Biosurvey. In Watershed Access Lab Projects. Project 114.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/wal_projects/114
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