It’s been a busy few weeks at AWWA! We’ve been visiting the Acton and Wakefield elementary schools for our 6th grade module on watersheds and invasive species. Yesterday was an especially exciting day, as we had our brook trout release with the Paul School 4th graders!
Our trout are finally free in the world! We had a wonderful time yesterday afternoon releasing our trout in a stream behind the Paul School. Each student had a cup with two trout that they were able to set free. From stream habitat to life cycles, it was great to see how much the kids have learned over the past several months about brook trout and how they grow.
We also had a great time in the 6th grade this week. The students are extremely enthusiastic about the activities we bring to these classrooms. Below is an overview of the modules that have been on-going all month.
Introduction to Watersheds
This unit is designed to have students communicate scientific procedures and explanations through a variety of activities. Students demonstrate that clean water is essential to all aspects of life on earth, and they expand understanding between human activities and water quality. Students also learn how to identify and define a watershed by creating models to demonstrate how water flows.
This unit is focused on invasive species and their impacts on native plants and animals. Students develop an understanding of how adaptations enhance survival of a species and what characterizes an invasive species. Students spend the class period identifying native and invasive aquatic plants such as milfoil, starwort, pondweeds, bladderwort, and many others using a dichotomous key. Green crabs are also brought in to discuss invasive aquatic creatures and their impact on local species. Students are asked to think about why invasive species may be more successful, and out-compete native species.
Students will also study live macroinvertebrates that they will collect at the Province Lake Golf Course next week. These aquatic bugs include dragonfly nymphs, beetles, crayfish, stoneflies, and many other critters. Some learned skills include collection and identification of macroinvertebrates. Students will also perform water quality tests, and asses stream health by assessing what species are present.
Through all of these experiences it’s also very rewarding to work with teachers who are dedicated to scientific learning. Both Acton and Wakefield have been great to work with, and the students respond extremely well to hands on learning.
Stay tuned for an update on our field trip to the Province Lake Golf Course!