NBJH Students Explore Water Quality, Habitat Restoration During Ecology Day Oct. 18
Northbrook Junior High School seventh graders had the opportunity to learn about local river restoration efforts, participate in pond and river water quality testing, and help remove invasive plant species from a local park Oct. 18 during Ecology Day.
The school’s seventh grade science teachers organized four stations for the students, who walked from station to station during the half-day of activities at the Techny Prairie/Trail Through Time.
At the river testing station, local volunteer and District 28 parent Sue Davis talked with students about area efforts to restore the health of the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River, as part of the Northbrook Community Streambanks – River Restoration Projects
After the introduction, students worked in teams to identify macro-invertebrates present in collections of river water, and test the water’s pH, nitrate, phosphate, and dissolved oxygen levels.
The types of invertebrates present in the water, as well as the chemical levels of the water, help to indicate the overall water quality of the river and how much pollution is present. Students also tested pond water and made predictions and comparisons to the river water.
At another station, students learned about the impact of invasive buckthorn on other plants in the local ecosystem. Donning work gloves, they worked with Northbrook Park District employees to prune and remove buckthorn.
Students also practiced their writing skills by reflecting on their experience through free-verse poetry.
Science teachers Mark Frye, Pam Mendelson, and Shannon Zajac said they planned the activities so students can see the real-world applications of their science lessons.
“We want to make an engaging day of science, and we want students to get their hands dirty and experience science in their community,” Mr. Frye said.