Seventh Grade Digs Ecology Day

Seventh Grade Digs Ecology Day
Posted on 09/06/2017
Analyzing invertebratesSeventh-grade students spent Sept. 1 at the Techny Prairie analyzing pond and river water quality, looking for invertebrates in river water, restoring the prairie by pulling out invasive species and discussing conservation. The ecology day, held on the first early release day of the year, has become an NBJH tradition of experiential learning.
Students are divided into groups and make their way to each of the four stations around the prairie.
“It was neat how the water changed colors, measuring pH levels and nitrate levels,” said Ella Glazer and lab mate Maddy Dawson after leaving the Water Quality station. Students made predictions of the comparative health of river vs. pond water and then measured pH, chlorine, dissolved oxygen and bacterial colonies.
At the river station students used magnifying glasses to search for invertebrates in river water that was ladled into ice cube trays. At the restoration station, they worked in teams to clear Purple Loosestrife and Queen Ann’s Lace from the prairie, both invasive species that choke out native prairie grasses and flowers. At the conservation station they brainstormed ideas about conservation practices they could implement at school.
Among opinions about bugs, larvae, pulling weeds and being outside, one opinion was unanimous:
It was a good way to spend a half day!
Looking for invertebrates in pond water
clearing invasive species 
 analyzing pH results  hypothesizing water quality