Pennsylvania MWEE Spotlight

Mr. Showalter’s 4th Grade Class Investigated Groundwater Health.

The students studied the water cycle and water runoff.  I demonstrated where rainfall goes by using a groundwater simulation kit where students learned about how water infiltrates the ground.  In addition, students were able to see how water moves under the ground, even when there is no active precipitation.  Next, students identified where rainfall goes on our school campus.  There is a large drainage basin that collects all the runoff during rainfall.  Students were able to notice that our school gets a lot of community traffic for events like soccer games, sledding, and people using the walking path.  My students were able to identify that pollutants from the school parking lot enter the drainage basin and affect the way water infiltrates the ground in the drainage basin.  As a result, we plan to paint the storm drains in the parking lot, alerting community members and school personnel that what they dump in the storm drain directly enters the ground without being treated at a water treatment plant.

Mrs. Hanish’s  4th Grade Class: Hambright Conserves.

Students investigated the health of their local waterways to determine what, if any, impacts our community has made on our watershed. In doing so, they learned the importance of water conservation and runoff mitigation in order to keep our waterways clean. Students first traveled to Stroud Water Research Center to learn more about watersheds and water health. They took this knowledge into the field with a stream and habitat study in a local park. Maple Grove Community Park is adjacent to one of our most densely populated Hambright neighborhoods, so it was a terrific place to study to draw conclusions about the health of the water in our community. Students conducted water quality analysis, sampled and studied the macroinvertebrates of the creek, and looked for litter patterns while removing debris they found. Students took water quality samples of Little Conestoga Creek. Students analyzed indicators of dissolved oxygen, temperature, nitrates, pH, turbidity, and phosphates in the creek water. They discovered high levels of phosphates in their samples.  They also collected data on macroinvertebrates that they found in the area. Their macroinvertebrate study indicated that the creek is relatively healthy. The data we collected indicated that the creek is fairly healthy, though more can be done to improve and protect it. 

Mr. Fitzkee’s 4th Grade Class: Improving the Health of Our Watershed.

During this year, Eshleman students participate in several activities made possible through the training provided during the MWEE experience.  Our colleague also helped us arrange a trip to Stroud Research Center for hands-on learning with experts.  The students delved deeper into watersheds by exploring water movement, looking at humans’ environmental impact on their watershed, and exploring the problems related to our school playground.  Students have begun to consider possible solutions to improve the playground’s impact on the Chesapeake Watershed. 

2022 – 2023 Spotlight: Coming Soon

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