The middle school Spring project has an instructional, a sampling, an analysis and a reporting component. The instructional component was addressed during the middle school Springs theme, which consisted in an introduction to hydrology. We insisted on the purpose of natural water analysis; on mapping (determining longitude, latitude and distances); on chemistry (to acquire background and skills for the chemical analysis of the spring water); on the identification of fauna and flora; and on the observation and practice on in-situ sampling and measurement techniques.
Our first sampling trip took place last Friday. The students rotated between three stations, one devoted to collecting water samples and measuring physical characteristics of the spring water (Sean McGlynn), one devoted to collecting and observing macro-invertebrates (Lisa Homann), and one devoted to drawing a scaled map of the spring (Sophie). Sean collected one surface sample and one sample at about 40 feet to perform chemical analyses at his lab. Lisa collected a few macro-invertebrates specimens that could not be identified on site. And Sophie ended up with a fairly good map of the spring. There will be more sampling trips to contrast the water in "our" spring to the water in neighboring water features.
The analysis and reporting components will follow the sampling trips. A final report will be due at the end of June 2014.