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Wednesday, June 10, 2009


BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Science In Motion program is working with the McKean County Conservation District to increase awareness about the importance of drinking water safety.

Students from the Eldred, Kane, and Port Allegany school districts participated in the project. The Conservation District provided water test kits for Science in Motion to distribute throughout the schools.

High school students in those districts tested water taken from municipal water supply, household wells, streams and springs. If any microbial or chemical contaminants were found, the homeowner could contact the Conservation District for further instructions on how to proceed with identifying potential problems with their water supply. Students found no significant problems with the water supply.

“The students were excited to do this since they were helping to collect information that would not be just used in a classroom but would actually be used in evaluation for a ‘real lab,’” said Melanie Acker, SIM assistant director and mobile educator.

“ They especially enjoyed figuring out where to find the most remote regions where they could collect water. Otto-Eldred biology teacher Boyd Fitzsimmons did a wonderful job having students venture to as many sites as possible to check water sources.”

Heather McKean, watershed specialist with the Conservation District, worked with Acker on the project.

“Everyone should be aware of where their water comes from and also be conscious of potential threats to water resources. The Conservation District and Science In Motion felt that together we would be able to reach more people and have a greater impact on our water resources.”

Acker said, “It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to partner with the Conservation District in the water testing project. It not only provided the Conservation District with an easy route into the schools through SIM, but also helped inform the teachers of how much educational information and supplies that the Conservation District has to offer.

“Since this particular lab was part of a larger project that several schools could take part in to help the Conservation District, I think the students found it exciting that they were a part of that team.”

A grant the Conservation District was awarded from PA Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education Grant Program funded this project.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

So good to see a full-time and very active conservation district - way to go!