A CIESE Collaborative Project

2003 Project Final Reports

Piedmont Middle School

Private Vocational School - Bulgaria
The NYC Lab School Louise R. Johnson Middle School



Piedmont Middle School

Something New You Learned:
There were only two of us who had done the experiements before, so, for most of us, we all learned how to analyze the water using the test equipment. It was hard at first, but we finally learned how to do it right. I think our teacher will need to buy more supplies next year.

How Did You Interpret Your Results:
For our final data we used the mean average from the year. The pond had four test periods, one in the Fall, two in Winter and one in the Spring. Penitencia Creek had three tests done; Fall, Winter and Spring. For the pond, we were concered about the November and January samples which gave us a dissolved oxygen reading of 5.4ppm and 6.0ppm. Then it started to rain, we'd been in a drought for years. Once the rains came, they didn't stop for a month. That was enough to boost the dissolved oxygen to 10.0ppm in March. We were happy because we knew the pond life would be able to thrive.

What Conclusions Did You Reach:
Our pond and creek are pretty healthy, except during a severe drought. We were right about the pond being unhealthy during the fall and early winter months. The creek was able to maintain fairly constant measures throughout the year. We are concerned about the alkalinity level being at an average 131ppm and will be research that next year.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:
Our teacher wants us to have more classroom time practicing the tests. Our thermometer broke this year due to it being thrown against the rocks. We won't do that next time. I think most of us will listen better when we get the instructions. We had so much fun learning outside about the environment, I wouldn't change too much!

Pond Averages:
nitrate/nitrogen 0ppm
pH 8.0ppm
phosphate .1ppm
dissolved oxygen 7.1ppm
alkalinity 77ppm
turbidity 1.0jtu's
temperature 22C

Creek Averages:
nitrate/nitrogen 0ppm
pH 8.75ppm
phosphate .4ppm
dissolved oxygen 8.6ppm
alkalinity 131ppm
turbidity .5jtu's
temperature 21C

Private Vocational School - Bulgaria

We investigated the quality of the drinking water of Sofia town, coming from Iskar - reservoir. It gathers water from the high parts of Rila Mountain - spring source and from the snow melting.

Please click on Bulgaria Final Report to read the full report.

The NYC Lab School

Our hypothesis was that the Cross River would be a healthy place to release the brown trout we had been raising in our classroom all year long.

We found out that with a temperature of 18 degrees Celsius, a pH of 7, a dissolved oxygen level of 7, a nitrate reading of less than 1 ppm, and a phosphate reading of less than 1 ppm, the Cross River was pretty much an ideal setting for our trout.

Other observations we made showed that there was a thriving population of insect larvae in the river which assured us that our fish would have food resources.

We looked through the data from the other schools in the project and determined that there were five sites that would have also offered physical and chemical settings that could have supported our trout. The Piedmont Middle School's data for the Penitencia Pond looked close to ideal for our trout, though the temperature would have to stay pretty close to the reported 22 degrees Celsius year-round to keep the trout healthy. Another good option would have been the Weston High School's High School Pond. Our biggest concern for these two sites would be that they are both standing bodies of water and young trout prefer running water. With that in mind, the Jangsung Girls' High School's data for the Hwangji River looks appealing. But we don't know if trout are an established part of the ecosystem in Korean rivers and we would fear introducing them into waters where they may disturb an established balance. Many of us liked the Standing Rock Community School's data for the Missouri River, our only concern was that a dissolved oxygen level of 5 ppm is less than ideal for trout. Finally, the Pleasanton High School's data for the Atacosa River offered a viable option as long as the water temperature doesn't climb much higher than the reported 21.4 degrees Celsius throughout the year.

After testing the water where we released the trout and studying the data of other rivers, ponds, and lakes around the country and the world we feel really good about our decision to release the fish into the Cross River. Good, clean, trout-friendly water seems hard to find and we're happy to have some nearby. 



Louise R. Johnson Middle School

We tested the Manatee River at three different sites. One site was at DeSoto National Memorial, which is at the mouth of the river where it enters Tampa Bay. The second site was at Lake Manatee, which was formed by damming the river and making a reservoir. This lake is the source of our drinking water. Finally, we tested the Upper Manatee River at Rye Wilderness Park. The results gave us no indication there was a problem at any of the sites and the results were what was expected. Stormwater runoff is a major problem in our area but because we have had little or no rain, the nutrient levels seemed fine and there was no evidence of an algae bloom. We didnt test for Fecal Coliform and would like to add that parameter next year. Also, our test kits for ammonia and nitrates are not sensitive enough so we had to record the lowest detectable amount that the kit measured. The students learned a great deal about the importance of protecting our watershed and became quite good at conducting the tests.

Results for Water Testing on the Manatee River
DeSoto Lake Manatee Rye Wilderness
Temperature (air) 27.7 C 25.4 C N/A
Temperature (water) 26.5 C 25.3 C 31.5 C
Dissolved oxygen 7.8 ppm 7.6 ppm 7.6 ppm
pH 7.9 7.5 7.2
Phosphate 1 ppm Less then 1 ppm 1 ppm
Ammonia Less then .2Less then .2 Less then .2
Nitrates N/A Less then 12 Less then 10
Turbidity 1.8 JTU 9.4 JT 5.8 JTU
Alkalinity 223 42.5 76.6
Salinity 30.2 ppt Fresh Fresh
(less then 6ppt) (less then 6ppt)