Upcoming: Water Quality Testing
Water quality testing from our Mobile STEM Lab is part of our ongoing project learning. This is in conjunction with the Rain Barrel Pollinator Gardens we will plant with students. Students learn to design and implement a water quality study using watershed maps. We will use water quality test kits for inquiry-based learning of chemical parameters. This includes tests for lead, biochemical oxygen demand, coliform bacteria, dissolved oxygen, nitrate, pH, phosphate, turbidity, temperature change and a benthic macro-invertebrate survey for coliform and pollution-sensitive benthic macro-invertebrates.
Students will test for lead in tap water samples from their own homes as part of our study on the Flint, Michigan water crises. Test samples will also be taken from our rain barrel as well as Troost Lake, Big 11 Lake in Kansas City, Kansas and the Missouri River since some subsistence fishing is done there. In their roles as Citizen Scientists, students will then write a report for the respective city mayors.
Data analysis is another skill set that is practical and necessary in the growing field of big data. Another goal of this project is to analyze and interpret data from this water quality testing study and upload the raw data to a Citizen Science university database, as students contribute to an actual research project.