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Summer Academy Students Study Water Quality
Summer Academy Students Study Water Quality
Posted on 07/15/2021
For this week’s problem-based learning challenge, eighth graders dove into water quality engineering. They imagined that a national sparkling water company was looking to build a plant in Buncombe County and needed to know which local water source to use. Student groups looked at samples from six water sources around the county and tested them for pH, nutrient levels, sediment, and chemicals.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

BCS Summer Academy has created a constant stream of exciting, hands-on learning experiences for students throughout the school system.

For this week’s problem-based learning challenge, eighth graders dove into water quality engineering. They imagined that a national sparkling water company was looking to build a plant in Buncombe County and needed to know which local water source to use. Student groups looked at samples from six water sources around the county and tested them for pH, nutrient levels, sediment, and chemicals.

On Wednesday, a group at Clyde A. Erwin Middle School waded into Lee Creek at Clyde A. Erwin High School to get their own samples. The measured water temperature, pH, and ambient air temperature. They also looked from macroinvertebrates – like fly larvae and tiny clams – that serve as pollution level indicators.

Jayden, from the North Buncombe District, said he found the whole project enlightening.

“We’ve learned that rivers aren’t the same, that they have a lot of different things in them,” he said. “I think it’s really fascinating what science does and the things it can help you with.”

Bailey, another eighth grade student, said she didn’t realize how many different ways streams can become polluted.

“There’s nutrients, toxins, sediment, and microbes,” she said. “I learned a lot about that and how it can change the water.”

Ms. Lily Dancy-Jones, one of the Summer Academy science teachers, said students are realizing how individual actions can add up to impact the quality of streams in our community.

“We’ve been studying hydrology, topography, economic growth from new businesses, and the engineering and safety side from local government,” she said. “It’s really important stuff.”

BCS Summer Academy: Full STEAM Ahead is a comprehensive recovery effort, designed by BCS curriculum coaches, that utilizes problem-based learning as its core approach to connect reading, writing, speaking, listening, and moving with hands-on experimentation and design.


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