Earth, water, soil are just a few of the many different things in the world that science students get to learn about. Sometimes the school doesn't have it in the budget to be able to do the things teachers want to do with students. Fortunately enough for Samantha Green, Salem High School's environmental teacher, she was able to receive a grant from the Washington County Community Foundation through the D. Jack Mahuron Education Fund Grant.
“Teachers within the county can apply by filling out an application,” explained Green. “The grant needs to state a title, for Environmental Science the classes chose ‘Field Study of Invasive Species and Water Samples.’ WCCF asks that we specify grade level, subject, and number of students.”
Green said, “Both classes spent a few days planning and discussing materials needed as well as what they hoped to experience and learn throughout the field study. PH testing, soil and water samples, minerals and plant life, are just a few things that students have collected.”
She also explained students collect the samples to measure erosion, collect fossils, test pH water levels, research and create data logs, study invasive species, and determine the changes that occur throughout each season.
The environmental class all together has 31 students and the grades range from sophomores to seniors. The experiment will take place at Brock Creek at the pond that is located on the cross country course. Green said, ”Students will compare samples from each month and location.” She also explained that the topic was voted on by students in both classes.
Green said several state standards are implemented throughout the project and allows students to learn by doing. This grant is a great way for students to utilize lab procedures outside. “Students are involved in their learning when they are able to experience it outside the classroom,” she said.
Green knows how to utilize a grant and bring the fun in for her students all while learning in the big outdoors!