M3EP Takes a Look at a Local Ecosystem

Have you ever been curious about the water quality of the stream that runs along the east side of the school? M3Ep students named it as a local ecosystem that we could investigate. This week, M3Ep students checked the health of the stream by making observations and measurements. At first look, the water level was high from the heavy rain and the water color was brown due to the suspended silt and clay. Unfortunatwly, it had rubbish in it and a bad smell. These are two obvious signs of a polluted water-way. Very quickly, they noticed small fish and morning glory. So, that was a good sign. The students took three basic measurments. The temperature of the water was 28 degrees Celsius. The pH was slightly alkaline at 7.8. Finally, they measured the turbidity, or cloudiness, and found out it was very high. Students used a secchi disk to take this measurement and recorded a clarity depth of only 20cm! For our investigation of the ecosytem, this meant that light was not reaching deeper than 20cm and so less plantlife and algae would be able to live there.
The M3Ep students decided that there was not a lot of life due to pollution and high turbidity. They think it will get better after the rainy season. So, we will go back to the stream and check the water quality and diversity of life in a few months.

Teacher Brendan, MEP Science

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