A CIESE Collaborative Project

Spring 1999 Student Final Reports

All classes participating in this project have been asked to submit a final report to the project Discussion Area. In this report, students share what they have learned from doing the project. Read on to see the results of the students' hard work!
Primary Purpose: To look for relationships and trends among the data collected by all project participants.

Pondomania Final Report - Tahanto Regional Middle School
Using a map we color coded different temperature ranges. All the temperatures between 0-6 degrees Celsius are located between 40 and
52 degrees West Latitude. Temperatures between 7-15 degrees Celsius are located between 32-50 degrees West Latitude. The
temperatures between 16-21 degrees Celsius are located between 33 and 44 degrees West Latitude. The temperatures greater than 21
degrees Celsius are located between 32 and 43 degrees West Latitude. The temperatures seemed to coincide with the time of year and
location. A relationship was observed between pH and the location of the body of water. We noticed that the areas closest to the ocean had
lower levels of pH. We also noticed a relationship between the pH and the dissolved oxygen (DO) level. We noticed that if there is a high DO
level, there is usually a low to neutral pH. For example, the average DO level in Ohio was 14ppm, its average pH level was the lowest, with
5.5. In the places where there was a low DO level, the pH was high. An example of this is in Georgia where the DO measured 4ppm, and the
pH was 8. Almost all nitrate levels were lower than the dissolved oxygen levels. We noticed that if there was a wide range between the pH
and the DO levels, the nitrate level was high. If the two were close, there was a low nitrate level. In terms of the phosphate test we noticed
that in the northern regions the level of phosphates was in the decimals( very small amounts). For example, Ontario had .1ppm. Along the
coast the range of phosphates was in between o and 1.1ppm. Near the coast we noticed that the phosphate level was higher than most of
the country. In the central region of the US, nearly all the phosphate levels were 0ppm. In most schools( except Shaker Height) we saw that
the nitrate and the phosphate levels were pretty close to the same levels. If the nitrate was low than the phosphate was low and vice versa.
These are some of the relationships observed from the various bodies of water such as lakes, streams, ponds, marshes and creeks.

Submitted by students in grade 7 (pondomania Project).

Final Report for Shaker Heights High School-1st, 2nd and 6/7 period classes(Miss Sankovich)
In order to complete all the tests in one 50 minute class period, students in the three classes were divided up into expert groups where each
group were to be responsible for certain tests. On September 21, each group presented their information to their peers while one student in
the class submitted the data to this Project. The next day in the computer lab students accessed this web site to glean the information
already submitted and then the compare the results.

Questions were posed which they had to analyze and then finished the activity by writing a several paragraph essay identifying the following
the information:

School name, location, grade/subject area What was something new that you learned? What were some of the relationships between water
quality and the physical surroundings of the water shed? What were some of the relationships between what is dissolved in the water and
the surrounding ecosystem? What conclusions did they reach? What would you have done differently? Did our results agree with our

Below are some of the comments from the 11th and 12th graders of Shaker Heights High School CHEMCOM arranged by period:

1st period

We learned that a large amount of nitrates can cause excessive algae growth and leads to baby blue syndrome. Some of the things we
learned about include the meaning of pH levels and which levels are acceptable for life. We learned that Doan Creek fluctuated between 17
to 18 degrees Celsius and that there are no fish native to the creek. We learned that if the oxygen levels are too low or too high that some
fish cannot survive. The best oxygen levels for fish life are from 6.5 to 8.2. Some of the relationships between water quality and physical
surroundings of the watershed wer if there were more trees surrounding the water then the temperature is lower. If we were to do this again
we would test the dissolved oxygen before we tested the temperature, because the dissolved oxygen might be more accurate.

2nd period

I also learned that there is a relationship between water quality and the physical surroundings. This relationship exists because the physical
surrounding can add to the water. I think that Doan Creek is not as healthy as it needs to be and there is probably much we can do to make
it better, such as pick up the trash in and around the creek and just overall be carefule about all we do around that area which can affect the
creek. The biggest conclusion that I made is that it had animals around it therefore you could tell things were in good enough shape for
animals and plant life to survive. It(Doan Creek) was pretty clear and it seemed as though there was not that much pollution around the creek
as I believe there would be because of the fact that it surrounded by two schools. The project turned out to be more interesting than I though
it would be. I learned that there's a lot more to water than you would think. Water temperature is very important to organisms that occupy the
water. Exposure to sunlight, and the temperature above the water can affect the temperature of water. If we ever did this experiment again I
think we'd need to do everything carefully so that we get more accurate numbers. In this project I learned that it is very easy to do what real
scientists do as far as sampling the water to see if it was good. I showed me a lot about the technology of how to use some of the
materials--even as simple as a graphing calculator. To be totally honest I would be better prepared for lab because I was all confused and
anxious to get it done. The relationship between what is dissolved in the water and what is in the ecosystem is that things that are around the
water can change the qualities of the water and the wildlife living in the water. The conclusion I made is that the water system is very frail. If I
could do something differently I would wait longer to let my materials settle. There was also a lot of trash around Doan Creek and this was
littering the creek more and more trash will just flow into it unless we clean up our acts and stop littering. The conclusions that I reached were
tht we have a very beautiful creek in our community of Shaker Heights and we need to kepp it clean. One relationship that I noticed was
between the temperature and the dissolved oxygen level. I discovered that the higher the temperature the lower the dissolved oxygen level.
Oxygen dissolved in water was necessary for water life to survive. I could have gotten better results by taken more accurate measurements. I
was surprise by the temperature of the water. The new thing I actually learned was that we had a creek. Next time some investigating should
be done on the plans for the creek so that nothing caused by man will affect the tests. If there are things dissolved in the watershed that are
helpfule then the surrounding ecosystem will be happier. Next time I would go when they are not draining the nearby lakes so we could get a
response that was more true.

6/7 period

We are not dependent on Doan creek for water(drinking) but we are dependent on Lake Erie for our water and if it is not clean it could
cause serious problems for the surrounding areas. Next time I might have the people in my group work on different fields than just sticking
with the same stuff. This will enable them to find out what they are capable of doing. I was pleased to find safe levels across the board. I
believe this is true because there is no major industry running off the creek, and the city of Shaker Heights makes genuine attempts to
monitor the safety levels of the surrounding water. If I could do this experiment over again I would probably run the water samples through a
few more times, to make sure they were right. I might also get a few samples from different periods in the year to see how the results vary. I
never though that what you did to the grass around the water affected the water. If there was a next time I would probably take my time and
be neater. If there was next time I was going to do this experiment I would probably take more time writing down my information because I
was rushing whe I was at the creek this time, and forgot to put a couple of things down. In this research I discovered that despite what some
people may think, the water around Shaker Heights is in very good condition. This migh have been because there was no industry around,
only schools and wildlife, so the water would have little to be contaminated by. The water was cold enough so that fish could survive in the
water, however, none were sighted.

Teacher comments:

As you can tell by the number of comments in 2nd period it was the larger of the three classes and just getting all them down to the creek
was an accomplishment in itself. The two smaller classes were easier to get organized and to keep control of so some of the results were
better. It was also in this large class that panic erupted when one of the calculators was dropped in the creek which by this time was rushing
through pretty quickly.

Also, the Green lake which is one of the lakes supplying Doan creek's water was beginning to be dredged on this day. Therefore, the creek
was flowing normally for first period until 5 minutes before it was time to leave and suddenly water come gushing through. So much water
had entered that within five minutes the water level increase 5 centimeters. By the time 2nd period arrived the water level rose another 10
centimeters. Once 6/7 period arrive the water level was equal to the cement embankment surrounding the creek and what we stood upon
while test were taken. If time permits, I will try to submit pictures of Doan Creek and Green lake before and after for a visual respresentation.

Also, this was the first project where students used the calculator based laboratory and where what they did in groups actually matter.
Students often think working in groups means that one or two people do all the work and the other just agree. This was project quickly
showed them that this type of thinking was erroneous and better preparation leads to better measurements and results. Laboratory
preparation has gradually increased in quality since this experience which from my perspective is wonderful.

Also, it is wonderful to see students to begin to think about their surroundings and realize that they are just a spoke in a larger wheel rather
than the entire wheel.

I was the first chemcom teacher to perform this lab and the other teachers will most likely post a message expressing their final reports for
their classes. Mrs. Miller classes, 3 total, performed the experiment about 2 weeks after I did, and Mrs. Nackely just completed the project a
week ago Friday. This should provide a nice comparisions over time for the water quality. Yet no matter which class you look at, Green Lake
has yet to be refilled.

Miss Sharron K. Sankovich

Final Report -  Mountain View Jr./Sr. High School
The purpose of this project was to learn about water quality and to determine the water quality of Ely Lake.

Between September 26 and November 13, 1999, the water of Ely Lake was tested seven times for water temperature, pH, dissolved
oxygen, nitrate, phosphate, and biological oxygen demand levels. Ely Lake is located outside of Brooklyn, Pennsylvania at 41:45:41 N, 075:
50:13 W. The water was tested using HACH Surface Waters and Water Ecology testing kits and HACH DR/2000 Spectrophotometer.

Optimal pH levels of lake water are between 6.5 and 7.5. Pure water has a pH of 7.0, which is neutral. In this project, the average pH of Ely
Lake was 7.04.

Excellent dissolved oxygen levels of lake water are from 9-10 ppm. The average dissolved oxygen level of Ely Lake was 9.07 ppm. The
average dissolved oxygen percent saturation was 84.7%. An excellent reading, this is in the range of 80-120%.

Nitrate and phosphate levels of less than one are considered to be excellent. The average nitrate level of Ely Lake was .083 ppm. The
average phosphate level of Ely Lake was .096 ppm.

I believe that the results from the biological oxygen demand tests may be incorrect due to the fact that an incubator was not available for use.

Overall, it was determined that Ely Lake has excellent water quality.

Through this project, I learned about water quality and learned how to use the HACH DR/2000 Spectrophotometer. It was very helpful to
compare my results with the results of others also participating in the GLOBAL water sampling project.

Shiloh Village School Final Report -  Shiloh Village School, O'Fallon, IL
Our classes prepared and gathered the proper materials necessary to run the required tests. We made strainers from coffee cans and
plastic screen. We used these to gather organisms for this project. We learned how many different factors affect aquatic life. Abiotic and
biotic factors work together to determine the quality of life in a pond. Despite the odor at our testing site, our results helped us determine the
Fern Glen Preserve is a healthy aquatic environment. We would like to have spent more time on the project as it was a fun learning

St.Libory Final Report - St. Libory
Schwartz's pond was a great success. We thought it would not have much plant and animal life, but testing and observations proved
otherwise. Some of the specimens included: pollywogs, fresh water clams, fish, and crawdads. Despite our poor turbidity and coliform
bacteria readings, all other tests were good or excellent. We thought it was fun to collect the specimens and administer the individual tests.
We presented our findings and conclusions in the form of PowerPoint Presentations

Final Report from Lebanon & Summerfield Dist 9 - Lebanon & Summerfield Dist 9
We learned that Locust Hills Golf Course pond was in pretty good shape. Some of us anticipated high phosphate and nitrate readings from
chemicals used on the greens. However, in our observations and chemical tests we proved the the pond was a good environment for
aquatic life. We enjoyed running the tests and studying pond ecosystems. The drought in the midwest was obvious as we made our general
observations at the site.

Final Report - Caguas Military Academy - Caguas, Puerto Rico
We choose to test first our main source of water: Carraizo's Lake. It was difficult to take samples because there was raining so much and
we had a tropical storm and a hurricane passing throught the island. So we had to wait still the weather got better. We tested 5 main rivers
including the Carraizo's Lake and the results for the required tests were more or less the same except for the coliform bacteria's test on the
Carraizo's Lake. This test was positive just a few days after the rain stops. So we did the test again a week later on other site of the lake,
near the dam, and the test was positive again. We know that coliform bacteria should not be found in well or other sources of drinking water.
So the test indicates that there are more than 200 total coliform colonies per 100 mL of water. We are going to do the test again maybe on
January. We learned a lot of things with this project: natural waters with consistently high dissolved oxygen levels are most likely healthy and
stable enviroments, and are capable of supporting a diversity of aquatic organisms. Natural and human-induced changes to the aquatic
enviroment can affect the availability of dissolved oxygen. We learned that the Nitrate is a nutrient needed by all aquatic plants and animals
to build protein. Excess nutrients like nitrate increase plant growth and decay, promote bacterial decomposition, and therefore, decrease
the amount of oxygen available in the water. We hope we can do this tests for well water very soon.

Final Report From Central #104, O'Fallon, IL - Mrs. Wood's Challenge Classes
Considering our testing site was a pond at a mine reclamation site, we expected to find evidence of pollution and minimal biotic life forms.
To our surprise, most of the results were excellent or good the exception of the positive fecal coliform test.

We collected many specimens of aquatic life including frogs, smaller fish, and a large variety of insects. Plant life was also present.

Considering both biotic and abiotic factors, our conclusion is that our testing site is a healthy environment for a diversity of living organism

Final Report - Wahama High School
The water that we tested was from the Ohio River at mile marker 251. This spot is about 300 yards from our school, Wahama High School,
and is under the the current Mason-Pomeroy bridge. There is little debris in and along the river.

For, the past seven years we have been testing the water monthly for ORSANCO, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission. This
organization is devoted to keeping the river free of pollution. Before testing the water, we thought that there were high levels of pollution in
the water, due to rumors spread by local people. This rumor is not true. However, there is a warning posted by the E.P.A. to avoid
consuming bottom dwellers, such as catfish. Heavy metals and dioxin are the reason for the warning.

The data that we collected clearly shows that all of the test results were all within acceptable levels. For example, our obtained values for ph
was 7.0 and for dissolved oxygen it was 7ppm. Both of these readings are excellent for the growth of aquatic life. When comparing our data,
we find the Ohio River to be above average when considering the chemistry of the river.

Our class enjoyed taking part in the Global Water Project. We especially enjoyed analyzing data from other bodies of water.

Final Report from Vista, California - Rancho Buena Vista High School
Well, in the case of our pond, it is true never to judge a book by it's cover. When observing our pond we found it to be very dirty. It smelled
and appeared polluted and we suspected it was from the houses upstream. Our pond is located in a residential community where runoff
from homes and a local golf course feed into the water. However, our pond's good qualities outweigh the bad.

We expected our Nitrate levels to be higher because it looked as though too many fertilizers had gotten into the water because of all of the
plant growth. But looks can be deceiving. Our Nitrate levels were excellent. The clarity of our water was very poor and so was the electrical
conductivity. This we attribute to the local runoff. Our dissolved oxygen levels were a bit low, however we found quite a few macroorganisms
surviving. These macroorganisms reveal that our pond pollution levels are satisfactory.

We will be testing the pond again in January or February after the rain comes to see the effects of the runoff from the local neighborhood.
Overall, we enjoyed visiting the pond and learning about how important science can be in affecting lives of not only animals but people too.
We now know how to take care of our local water and to maintain our Earth's beauty and health for many years to come.

Mrs. Maskiewicz's Environmental Science Class

(Cassie V., Sarah R., Monica R., Joe E., Lindsay W.)