Earth ecoSTEM Kit Materials Used: Dip Nets & Posters, Petri Dishes, Mesh from GREEN Water Quality Test Kits
ENGAGE - Students Observe This Phenomenon
EXPLORE a Kit-Supported Learning Experience
Students will collect a water sample from a creek bottom to find macroinvertebrates that live there; identify each species using the Stroud Center’s Macroinvertebrate Guide and Key; and classify them as pollution-sensitive, pollution-tolerant or in-between, based on known tolerances. The more pollution-sensitive species (and individuals) the healthier the stream. For details, check out this information.
Students may design and build macroinvertebrate sampling equipment such as nets, kick seines, or leaf-pack traps. Useful materials for this engineering design challenge include mesh bags, wire hangers, dowels, screen, tulle, cheesecloth, duct tape, binder clips, clothespins, large needles and twine, etc.
Students play a simulation game called Macroinvertebrate Mayhem, and learn how environmental stressors affect “indicator species” to reveal the health of a stream. Students should be able to explain why an organism’s pollution-sensitivity makes it an indicator of a stream’s health, identify environmental stressors, and recognize that behaviors acted out in the game (p. 9) represent behaviors observed in the phenomenon films: adaptations to increase oxygen.