On March 4th and 5th, EcoReach participated in ExperienceUGA. This was the second annual 9th grade science exposition. 9th grade students from Athens high schools Cedar Shoals and Clark Central came to visit UGA. They learned about STEM programs, scientific organizations like EcoReach, and more!
EcoReach did a feature on stream bioassessments. These are important ways ecologists test stream and lake health. At our table, students completed a form to test if local Athens streams were polluted.
How? With the help of macroinvertebrates of couse! First, they looked at a sheet with different species on it. And next, they decided which species were found in each creek. Lastly, they wrote which creeks were healthy. This depended on if they had sensitive species or not. Examples include mayflies and caddisflies. On the other hand, polluted streams only contain tolerant species to pollution. One example is mosquito larvae.
This event was a great opportunity to connect with local Athens schools and inspire future STEM students. We hope the high-schoolers had a ball and learned a lot!
Till next time,
Amelia Foley (with edits by Robi McGarvey)