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Water Quality Testing At Voyager’s Community School

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Lucas Kelly, M.A

Lucas Kelly, M.A

This past week, students investigated the water quality of the stream at the property. After catching aquatic macro invertebrates and micro invertebrates during a trip to the Manasquan Reservior, students hypothesized what kind of water quality we have at the property. Often times, students say that freshwater is clean, drinkable water. We ask the question, what is the difference between ocean water and lake water? Stream water and lake water? Swamp water and stream water? To test and experiment with water, students were given two jars, one for a sample of clean water and one for a sample of dirty water. They were told that they could go anywhere on the property to get each sample. One sample was to be what they called, poor water quality and the other was to be one of good water quality.

Testing Water Quality

Testing Water Quality

To exercise their senses and deeply investigate the water, students smelt, felt, looked at, listened to and some students even tasted the water (simply by dipping the tip of the pinky finger into the water to get a tiny taste) After this, we then asked, what is water quality? How can we find out more about our water quality?

What is water quality?

What is water quality?

Next, we will try to catch aquatic insects, just as we did at the Manasquan Reservoir, to see what we have living in the water. Can a deeper investigation of the aquatic insects that we catch tell us something about the water quality?

Catching Aquatic Insects

Catching Aquatic Insects

Here is a picture from the Manasquan Reservoir and some conversation that we had as a group when we returned to school. This was the activity we did at the reservoir and we will take with us to replicate it at the property.

Teacher: “Where was the best place to find the insects?”
Madison, 12: “Not, like, on the outside, like, you actually have to go in the middle, sort of, and scoop it out.”

Teacher: “Why are they in the middle of the grass?”
Andrew, 11: “They’re scared, of us because we’re bigger than them.”
Jenna, 13: “They’re hiding from predators.”

Teacher: “What did we catch?”
Jake, 11: “We caught a turtle…we caught skuttle, the crayfish. We caught tadpoles.”
Winnie, 12: “Yeah, tadpoles and frogs.”

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