A CIESE Collaborative Project

Comprehensive Grammar School

Methuen, Massachusetts

Collection of Pond Water

On a brisk Saturday morning in September, the 4th grade teachers of the Comprehensive Grammar School in Methuen, Massachusetts met very early in the morning to collect samples of pond water. We collected several buckets of pond water at the Hills Pond in Methuen, Massachusetts to bring back for examination by our students. Prior to our collection of pond water, the weather had been very warm and humid. This particular Saturday morning was the first cool day that ended an unusual heat wave that had hit our area with temperatures that had been in the high 80s low 90s. Since the weather had been so warm we were confident that there would be several examples of macro invertebrates for our students to study. We were also able to collect samples of lily pads and milk weed.

Water Analysis

On the following Monday morning, the students were very excited and anxious to see what had been collected in the large, orange paint bucket as they entered the classroom. We first discussed pond life and what types of macro invertebrates we might find in the water and if pond water all over the world has the same types of macro invertebrates. Our hypothesis was: Are the organisms found in pond water the same around the world? I scooped out the water and muck and divided it into 6 smaller containers so that each group would have their own sample of water and muck to analyze. Each student also had a small hand lens so that they could better view their findings. Every student wore gloves and had lots of fun swishing their hand in the water and muck to find samples of macro invertebrates. There was so much excitement in the classroom!

 

Findings

Our class is very happy to report that every sample from the Identification Guide, other than the snail was found in the samples of pond water. We found the following:

Amphipod or Scud 4

Caddisfly Larvae 3

Damselfly Nymph 2

Water Flea 5

Dragonfly Nymph - 2

Bristle Worm 2

Mayfly Nymph 6

Midge Larvae 3

Mosquito Larvae 3

Snail 0

In addition, the class also found a few beetles, crickets and eggs (we think they were eggs).

 

Conclusion

Our class came to the conclusion that they were able to see several examples of macro invertebrates because the weather had been so warm before the collection of pond water. We also concluded that the same types of macro invertebrates live in pond water all over the world, but some macro invertebrates may be more prevalent in different areas depending on the climate. We are very excited to compare our findings with the finding of the other schools from all around the world.

Mrs. Ficheras 4th Grade Class