X-Stream Science is a inquiry-based learning opportunity lead by local experts to connect students to their watershed through real world science. Best suited to students in grades 7-12, X-Stream Science aims to have schools commit to sampling the same location every year to allow quality long-term data to be collected.
Students get outside to participate in hands-on, scientific inquiry by collecting biological, chemical and physical data on the water and surrounding land. Content is curriculum and place based.
Water quality, quantity and land use data is collected, analyzed and stored to be monitored and compared over time. This data will help students and decision makers make good choices to help our watersheds.
X-Stream Science is lead by the questions:
-What is the health of our local stream environment?
-How are different land uses changing water quality?
-How do habitat variables affect aquatic life systems?
-What changes can we see over time?
X-Stream Science has 3 parts:
1. In-class preparation presentation. Watershed experts will provide an overview of the reasons for monitoring, the parameters we will study and the scientific protocols students are expected to follow.
2. Stream-Side Experiential Learning. All equipment, materials and guidance will be provided for this half or full-day outdoor experience. Students collect benthic macro-invertebrate samples, as well as physical and chemical water and land data.
3. In-class data analysis and debrief. What is affecting the stream? How does this affect our environment and community? Students will analyze and reflect on the data, then upload it to the website. This could be a starting point for additional stewardship activities.
Want to be involved? Register your class here!
Why Collect Water Quality Data?
The quality of the water tells us if our greater watershed is healthy and if the life that relies on that water is healthy too. When the water quality is poor (unhealthy) then we know there are upstream or land use effects that are negatively impacting the water. Once we know this we can take action to improve things!
X-stream Science will allow the participants the hands-on opportunity to research, investigate, access, collect data, interpret data and form conclusions on the condition of the waterbody they are monitoring.
The water quality data will be collected from streams across the watershed each year. This data will be used by schools and the Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils to monitor the health of our local streams and greater watersheds. To allow the data to be comparable, we must follow a standardized set of protocols.
Where will we collect?
The BRWA has identified 10 locations across the watershed that we would like to sample in. These locations have been chosen based on their accessibility, stream size and distribution across the watershed. See the map below for the locations of our sampling sites.
We are still in the intial stages of this program. If you would like your school (or stewadship group) to be involved, please contact Nathalie at the BRWA at 780-672-0276.