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South Middle School, Braintree, Massachusetts


Betsey Willis


South Middle School Brook Buddies Group


Ten students at South Middle School participated in an after school group to learn about water quality and macro-invertebrates. After an introduction of the project, students started to learn how macro-invertebrates can be used as an indicator of water quality. Students traveled to Pond Meadow Park in Braintree to collect macro-invertebrates on March 8, 2011. We had two sites at the Park and collected at each site. Students made observations and took pictures while others collected the bugs.

Upon return, the Brook Buddies spent two afternoons sorting through the samples. They picked out the macro-invertebrates and started sorting them by common characteristics. Once sorted, students used a dichotomous key from two different books to identify the macro-invertebrates. They counted each order and put them in a vile with a label and alcohol solution to preserve them. Brook Buddies worked with Miss Willis to calculate the MGBI.

Results showed that the MGBI at the first site was higher than the MGBI at the second site. The first site had very slow flowing water near the road. The second site had fast flowing water on the other side of the dam. The second site had higher quality and healthier water based on the MGBI. The Brook Buddies hypothesized that this was because of the quick flowing water and the location of the stream.

Streaming Media

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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