When Citizens Double as Scientists
by Ryan Stewart
This week, five instructors from Experience Learning ventured to Cabell County, West Virginia, where we worked with local students to sample streams in the community. We worked with a wide range of ages this week; Ona Elementary’s Kindergartners and fifth graders as well as Huntington High School’s juniors. This trip was a part of our Appalachian Watershed and Stream Monitoring Program (AWSM).
Students engaged in citizen science curricula as they conducted chemical and biological testing on Fudges Creek and Fourpole Creek. The streams we sampled were not very healthy, so the students gained insight into means of improving water quality in their communities.
Ann Henry, Ona Elementary’s fifth grade teacher, said, “I appreciate all the work you do to inspire this generation to take care of their earth. Perhaps if we teach them these things now they will be able to correct the problems in our watershed in the future.”
Ultimately, the data that students gathered will be submitted to the DEP for stream monitoring purposes.