Students get hands dirty in ecological investigation

Eighth-graders monitor water quality at Willow Creek Park in Iowa City.

Regina eighth-graders went to Willow Creek Park in Iowa City on April 23 to continue to monitor water quality. The students have been looking at issues that concern urban flooding, urban water quality and other ecological local issues.  They developed questions to research as part of a problem-based learning activity.

In April, they looked for water critters, tested the water and soil quality, and looked for damage done by last year’s flooding. This trip was a follow-up to a field trip students took last October.

Upon returning to the building, students looked at and compared their data from last fall to this spring. All data is uploaded to the Department of Natural Resources’ Web site. Students will continue to look at the questions their teams developed before and after going into the field. Students will determine if further action, such as contacting the local city government or continued monitoring, is warranted.

The students wore rubber boots that were purchased through a mini-grant from the IOWATER project, which provides all monitoring equipment. This project is directly aligned with the mission of IOWATER. Regina’s junior high science teachers are qualified water monitors.


The problem-based learning activity was an excellent service learning opportunity for students.

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