A CIESE Collaborative Project


Fayetteville High School Felix Varela High School - Ms. Escobar Felix Varela H.S. - Ms. Casal

Louise R. Johnson Middle School

West Windsor-Plainsboro Community M.S. 

Gwynn Park Middle School




Fayetteville High School
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Water quality is one factor of human life with which all thinking people should concern themselves.  Our Biology class, which is one element of a progressive alternative learning program called School Within A School at Fayetteville High School, consists of both tenth and eleventh grade students who are interested in the quality of water and the relationships among water in our area and all over the world.

Fayetteville High School, a secondary school for grades ten through twelve, is located in Northwest Arkansas at the Southern edge of the Ozark Mountains--a plateau created by runoff. The altitude is 1212.57813, the latitude is N 36
  03 26.3 and our longitude is W 094  10 4.63. Our stream is the College Branch of the Town Branch of the Middle Fork of the White River. The water in streams in this area comes from runoff from rain. Our watershed is the Illinois River, which begins on the University Arkansas Campus. The stream in which we are most interested for this study begins on the University of Arkansas Campus, by the Poultry Science building, and goes underground through U of A parking lots that surround sports facilities, under Razorback Stadium, Track and Field complexes, Student Family Housing, and under a road that usually has heavy traffic. Due to the location of the stream, the growing population of our town, and the residential areas surrounding the stream, its physical appearance is anticipated to be unhealthy. Mark Nelson is the head of the University of Arkansas Water Quality Testing Lab that has state of the art testing materials. He analyzes water through out the state of Arkansas, and even came the same day we tested to assist us and to take his own tests. He analyzed the water on the same day, under the same conditions, and using the same factors. Nelson also tested the water for fluoride and chloride. He told us that fluoride and chloride should not have been in the water unless water was coming in to the streams from households. This one factor could determine if there was a sewage leak.  In some cases our results were the same as his, and in some they were different. See his results below.

lix Varela High School - Ms. Escobar
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Felix Varela Senior High
Global Water Sampling Project
Ms. Y. Escobar's Classes
Canal L-31

Miami-Dade County, Florida


We tested water samples from a canal L-31 that borders the entire perimeter of Everglades National Park. This park is undergoing many efforts to restore the quality, quantity and timing of the water flow that all South Floridians depend on. Three of our classes monitored for water quality at three different stops along the perimeter.  We started our journey at L-31 on the Tamiami Trail from the Coopertown Airboat Rides wooden bridge north of Everglade National Parks Shark Valley. Then we travel south along the parks eastern border to Homestead General Aviation Airport where we took sample two from an old metal bridge. Our final destination was at Glenn Garrett Memorial Park (park entrance) at the southern border of the park.  L-31 then continues to flow into the park itself towards Taylor Slough. The areas around the canal are greatly impacted by humans and it was the consensus of all three classes that the water test will indicate poor water quality. 

Felix Varela H.S. - Ms. Casal Period 5
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Global Water Sampling Project Final Report On
Shark River Slough, National Everglades Park By
Felix Varela Senior High Students
Miami, Fl
Honors Chemistry
Period 5

Background Information (Phosphates):

Phosphates are chemical compounds containing phosphorous. Phosphorous is vital to human, animal, and plant life. Phosphates usually enter the water from industrial waste, sewage discharge, and agricultural runoff.  Phosphates are plant nutrients that stimulate the growth of algae.  When too much algae is grown, this depletes the water body of oxygen Elemental Phosphorous was discovered accidentally in 1669 by a German chemist that was trying to make gold. Phosphates are used to make many products. For example, phosphates are found in cola drinks, they are used in detergents, and they are also used to preserve the moisture and taste in some foods such as ham and shrimp. A limiting factor for plant growth is a phosphate concentration of 0.02 parts per million (ppm).

The Everglades are located in Southern Florida. It consists of extensive Marshlands. It has a limestone floor.  In the Everglades, agricultural runoff destroys mats f composite algae called periphyton. This algae is essential, it provides oxygen and food to small aquatic organisms.  It also helps many organisms to survive the dry season (December until April) until rain comes again.   Shark River Slough is known as the River of Grass.

Felix Varela H.S. - Ms. Casal Period 6
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Global Water Sampling Project Final Report On
Alligator Farm, By
Felix Varela Senior High Students, Miami
Honor Chemistry
Period 6


Background Information: In the water test we collected water from the Everglades National Park. With those samples we did different types of tests while looking for different levels of phosphate, nitrate, D.O levels, Biological Oxygen Demand, Coliform bacteria, pH and alkalinity. The Everglades National park is a wetland that is protected by the government It is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. The everglades has come across many situations, area farmers are slowly polluting it. Due to the growth of the city of Miami the Everglades is slowly getting built around and is getting smaller.

Problem Statement:
What will the phosphate levels be in the sampled water?

Our hypothesis is that we believe that the phosphate levels will be fair.

Test by using the phosphate kit. It is important that the vials be rinsed very well. If possible they should be rinsed with distilled or demineralized before the test is being done.

Louise R. Johnson Middle School

The Manatee River Project was developed to provide students the opportunity to be involved in scientific research that is educational; career oriented, and would benefit the environment as well as the community. As part of this project students learned about the Manatee River watershed and the importance of protecting it. They also learned how to conduct water quality tests that would evaluate the water at different locations. The study included a comprehensive water analysis that tested for various parameters such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, phosphate, pH, salinity, turbidity, nitrates, and alkalinity. The three locations chosen for testing were DeSoto National Monument which is at the mouth of the river, Lake Manatee (the freshwater lake listed under data) the source of drinking water for residents of Manatee County and Rye Wilderness Park which is between the other locations. A hydrolab was used to compare the students results with those that our chemists recorded. They were very close. After testing the water students found that all the results were within the normal range. They also concluded there was no indication of pollution. Students then took what they learned and produced a project that will be used to educate the public about water and water related issues. Some are part of the schools website,  http://www.manatee.k12.fl.us/sites/middleschool/johnson/. The funding for this project was provided by SWFWMD through their SPLASH mini-grant program. Experts who provided technical assistance were from the Manatee County Environmental Management Department. 

West Windsor-Plainsboro Community Middle School

We are the students of the West Windsor-Plainsboro Community middle school. Our group consisted of seventh and eighth graders.  We have learned many new things from sampling the water behind our school. First of all we learned what nitrates, phosphates, and turbidity was. We learned where nitrates and phosphates come from. We learned how rain affects the amount of nitrates and phosphates and the pH of the water. We also learned to use different kits to test the water. These different kits allowed for the use of different chemicals, which allowed for the comparison of results. In addition, we learned to be precise and patient. We also learned to work together as a group instead of working alone. We learned how good the water behind our school really is. After reviewing the data, we realized that the pH fluctuates between 6.5 and 8. We also noticed that the Dissolved Oxygen is always between 6 and 8 parts per million. In the water we also saw that there were not any nitrates no matter what the outside environment was. The phosphates ranged from 1 to 2 parts per million. Another observation was that the water behind our school is relatively free from debris. We reached the conclusion that fertilizers did not drift in to the pond or the fact that it does not rain a lot. The fact that there was little phosphates led us to the conclusion that the water supported an abundant amount of life. We could also try to limit the variables. We could test the water at the same time every day we tested it. We could also make sure the outside conditions were the same. Then we could see the changes not based on the outside environment. Another change to our testing could be the sampling of water in the middle of the pond as well as the edge.

Gwynn Park Middle School
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The stream in the back of our school is a tributary that runs into the Chesapeake Bay.  We learned that the Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the lower 48 states.  Its watershed covers 64,000 square miles of land stretching across 6 states.  Also, the bays shoreline covers 8,000 miles.  So, it is a very important body of water for us.  It does not have a name, but we hope to adopt it and give it one in the future.