Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Our Watershed Investigation: An Introduction

Our class went to Cedar Lake and made lake scorecards based on how much pollution there is, how much human use, water quality, and the quality of the lake shore habitat. We graded Cedar Lake using the categories above, from 1-4 (1 being the least quality, and 4 being the most).

We wrote a paragraph based on the information we recorded on our score sheets. We wrote why we gave it the score we did. Then, we recorded how the sight, sounds, and smells around the lake. These indicate the health of the ecosystem. After that, we determined if the problems were naturally occurring or human made.

Our class decided to solve some issues facing Cedar Lake. The first problem we decided to solve is the management of Cedar Lake, because we noticed the management sign is about 50-100 feet away from the boat launch and is kind of hidden under a tree. The sign contains information about making sure there are no invasives on your boat before going in the lake. The second problem we decided to solve is how invasives entered Cedar Lake and how to get them out of the lake, and how human use affects the management and invasives in Cedar Lake.

We are keeping a Project Board for this project. Some of the things we want to investigate are:
  • Where does the water in Cedar Lake come from?
  • How does the water quality affect the health of plants and animals?
  • Can we use milfoil as compost?
  • Why does water flow instead of absorbing into the ground?
  • What tests can we do to assess the quality of the water?
  • How does human/animal waste affect water quality?
  • How much water is in the lake? Enough? Too much? Not enough? Does the amount affect the quality?
Connecting to signs of water quality, we also looked at five cups with different liquids. We smelled the liquids and looked at them. A couple of the cups had an odor, and the rest of the cups did not have an odor. The cups were all different shades of color. The activity was testing the quality of the water. We also talked about when we are observing that you are not guessing what the liquid is, you are listing facts based on evidence.

- Liam, Gwen, Carley, Noah, Maxx, Trinity, Evan, Sage

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