Promoting science inquiry in middle school classrooms: Water quality in freshwater habitats

Instructor Name: 
Angela Strecker
Course Description: 

Globally, freshwater ecosystems are at risk from a number of anthropogenic stressors. One of the foremost stressors is declines in water quality. We will partner with Sherwood Middle School to promote scientific inquiry into water quality issues in the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The Tualatin NWR is one of a handful of urban wildlife refuges in the nation, highlighting a unique region where urban areas intersect with natural spaces. Understanding the effects of environmental stressors on aquatic ecosystems in this unique area is of importance to citizens and managers. University students will mentor 6-8th grade schoolchildren in the development of scientific experiments, hypotheses, study implementation, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of study results. Middle school students will develop a research question that pertains to water quality within the refuge. University students will also have the opportunity to learn more broadly about water quality issues in freshwater ecosystems. A background check will be required.

Link to video about the course here