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Brooklyn HS Science Classes Explore Big Creek Reservation

BHS students study macro-invertebrates at the Big Creek Reservation with a staff member from the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District

On Thursday, October 6th, approximately thirty Brooklyn High School students from BHS Science teacher Catherine Woodruff’s Physics and Earth Science classes, along with students from John Marshall High School, participated in an immersive, hands-on learning experience near the Big Creek Reservation’s Memphis Picnic area. The full day educational program was organized through the Big Creek Stream Monitoring Program which is funded annually by a General Motors Community Impact Grant. During the visit, the students interacted with staff from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, West Creek Conservancy, Big Creek Connect, Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District, and the GM Parma Plant.

BHS Students learn about water quality with a volunteer at the Big Creek Reservation - Memphis Picnic Area

Students participated in a walking tour of the area to study the native plants and trees while learning about watershed management and the impact of human activities on the environment. Students also compared and recorded the water quality of the East and West branches of the Big Creek, as well as identified and studied various macro-invertebrates living in the water. In the main picnic area, students interacted with watershed models to discover the impact of fertilizers and other pollutants on water quality, the relationship between turbidity (level of cloudiness), dissolved oxygen, and water quality, and conducted real-world lab tests for pH, Nitrate, and Phosphate on collected water samples.

BHS students work on a watershed model with a volunteer at the Big Creek Reservation - Memphis Picnic Area

Brooklyn teacher Catherine Woodruff and other participating teachers were introduced to this exciting learning opportunity through the NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) funded by the First Rings First Fellowship. The B-WET program is an environmental education program that promotes place-based experiential learning for K–12 students and related professional development for teachers. The Brooklyn City Schools would like to thank all program partners for providing our students this engaging, real-world learning experience.

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