Field activity: water quality testing at Speyerbach

As a part of habitat study, our Year 5 and 6 lps worked in small groups to complete a water testing investigation at the Speyerbach River where they tested the quality of river water by checking the pH and hardness of the water. Lps also tested the presence of different compounds in the water such as copper, nitrates, phosphates and chlorine and collected data to answer a series of quantitative and qualitative questions to gauge the quality of the river water and river edge habitat.

Since many of the answers to the questions were qualitative or based on estimates it was interesting to have students compare their estimates and talk about the differences, how this impacted their results, and how qualitative or estimated data differed from measured data. This helped them to think how data collection and interpretation is done scientifically. Some lps were also interested in collecting water chemistry data or macroinvertebrate data (insects and worms) using the D-nets to conclude if the stream bank lacks vegetation. Overall, it was an enjoyable learning experience for everyone involved as it created opportunities for first-hand experiences that encouraged critical thinking and long-term retention!

Amandeep Kaur (Science and Economics Teacher)