Southmoreland students learn about water quality
Enjoying a day in nature's classroom, students from Southmoreland High School's Earth and Science spent some time this week knee deep in Stouffer Run as they worked on a hands-on project to determine the health of the stream.
More than 150 students participated in the Jacobs Creek Water Quality Study, an annual event that brings the students out of the traditional classroom and into the outdoors to do actual testing on water to determine its condition.
“We've been doing this for about 10 years,” Earth and Science instructor Lindsay DiCasolo said. “It's a fun project for them and they get to determine and evaluate the quality of the stream.”
Students were separated into three groups and manned three different stations that determined the stream's WQI (water quality index), the physical characteristics of the stream, and the macro-invertebrate present in the stream.
The students will then take their findings and calculate the pollution index of the steam.
“This is really fun,” Emily Urbanek, 15, said of the project, adding that the students have been learning about water quality.
After the students complete their studies of Stouffer Run, which is considered an impaired stream due to urban runoff, lack of vegetation and mine drainage, they will proceed at a later date to do the same type of stream analysis at Greenlick Creek, which is a cleaner, natural stream.
“We will go to Greenlick and do the same thing, then they will compare the two,” DiCasolo said of the students. “They will see the different between the two streams.”
Once the students have received and processed the data from both streams, they will plan, design and test a method to clean up the water.
“This is a good, hands-on way for these kids to apply what they have been learning in the classroom,” Earth and Science instructor Marie Heberling said. “A lot of these kid are not aware of what is in the water, other than reptiles, amphibians and fish.”
Patty Miller, executive director of the Jacobs Creek Watershed Association, said that projects like the Jacobs Creek Water Quality Study are a great way to get local students interested in the environment and the world around them.
“They will get to see, first hand, the difference in an impaired stream and a healthy stream,” Miller said. “It's projects like this that we hope will spark an interest in them, where they may then take more of an interest in the environment.”
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Outdoors notices: Oct. 5, 2015
- Steelers cut Scobee, sign free agent kicker Boswell
- Sunday - Oct. 4, 2015
- High-speed chase ends in Duquesne crash
- Are Pirates better positioned to win it all this postseason?
- Diminishing number of pilots takes toll on small airports in Western Pa.
- Strong police presence cut crimes, behavior issues at IUP homecoming, police say
- New book credits Nunn for Steelers’ 1970s success
- Shaler man charged in death of girl, 6, not prosecuted in repeated alcohol cases
- Kessel addition, better health could have Pens scoring like it’s 1990s
- Pitt holds off Virginia Tech in ACC opener