Middle School Students Collect Stream Data with UVM Watershed Alliance and Develop Outreach Projects to Share with the Community

By Lake Champlain Sea Grant Staff
July 06, 2015

The entire 7th and 8th grade classes at Edmunds Middle School in Burlington, Vermont took a trip through the full cycle of scientific study this past spring as they explored their city as an ecosystem. Edmunds Middle School teachers and students partnered with the UVM Watershed Alliance to study the Lake Champlain Direct and Grand Isles Basins, specifically, the Potash Brook that runs close by the school.

During the Watershed Alliance Stream Monitoring & Stewardship program, students engaged in a demonstration of the watershed concept, then they learned how to use stream water quality assessment equipment and data collection methods. The final days of the program had over 200 students monitoring three different sites along Potash Brook performing assessments on the physical and biological components of the stream as well as testing chemical parameters such as dissolved oxygen, phosphorus and measuring temperature and pH.

One final output of the program with Edmunds Middle School was for the students to analyze and upload their water quality data to the Watershed Alliance's interactive map and database to share with other schools and the public. Lastly, the students went above and beyond what the Watershed Alliance program typically sees for outreach projects. Individual students or pairs created multi-media presentations sharing their knowledge of watershed and water quality health and encouraging others to practice simply solutions to reducing non-point source runoff to Lake Champlain. There are over 30 websites, Prezis, videos, or posters all designed by 7/8 grade Edmunds Middle School students, a great show of how impactful student's involvement in place-based, hands-on learning can be. You can view these presentations at the Edmunds Middle School Team Infinity Science Outreach Projects page.