By Rori Wagner
Photo Courtesy of Olivia Randall
As the end of the school year comes to a close students face many new challenges in classes. For Earth Science students their challenge is more close to home than most.
This challenge will be deciding whether Clear Creek, a creek near our school, is a healthy environment for life. This will all be going into the grade for a project, the Clear Creek Project, and there are 150 points to get for the project in all.
To get determine the state of the creek students will do a variety of testing such as, “habitat assessments, chemical tests, physical assessments, and collecting macroinvertebrates,” as stated by Earth Science teacher, Olivia Randall.
They also will have to conspire all the data in a scientific report that includes images, the data they collected, and based on that decide whether the creek is healthy or not.
A project like this could make or break a student’s grade so for students it might seem stressful to have at the end of year. Randall takes it as an opportunity and said that, “by having a large end of the year project, students have one more opportunity to get their grade where they would like it to be! It is also a lot of fun to end the year with going out into the field for class.”
Projects like this have occurred in the class before so it might seem like just another Earth Science project, but Randall said that, “the Clear Creek Project is different from other projects because students are writing their very first scientific report of high school. It is also cool because we are doing the exact same tests that scientists in the DNR use out in the field.”
Randall overall thinks that large projects like this one benefit students by showing them how the content relates to the real world and real life. However, she also says they come with a cost because “they do take up a lot of time so we might not hit as many different earth science subjects.”
Overall the Clear Creek Project is in Randall’s opinion, “a great way to get all students actively engaged in the content we are learning. By pairing in class learning with application of the content at the creek, students are far more likely to internalize this topic.”