As an incoming freshman to Woodstock Union High School, I am truly looking forward to the Mercury Project. The Mercury Project is a service-learning collaboration between my school, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, and Dartmouth College. The ninth grade class studies mercury and its effects by conducting research at the park and throughout the community. Now, I usually am not too enthusiastic about digging through soil and coming in contact with dragonfly nymphs, but this program is the exception. This is because the experiments produce information that is important to our knowledge of this toxic element. For example, a friend of mine, who is now a Junior and was involved with the first year of the project, worked on an experiment that studied if the amounts of mercury in humans vary depending on if they are omnivores or vegetarians. The result of her experiment--more mercury was found in omnivores-- is something that people truly want to know. My friend encouraged me to try to collect more data this year to see if her findings are accurate. She is still interested in learning about mercury in our environment!
In addition to affecting our natural world, mercury studies impact myself and other humans. This motivates me to learn about mercury, because, well… who doesn't want to find out if there is a large amount of a toxic substance inside of them? Furthermore, I want to find how to limit and prevent mercury from entering my system.I am also looking forward to working with Steven's High School in Claremont, New Hampshire. They are studying mercury in Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. It will be awesome to compare our data and work with students from a different state. Last, but not least, I am so excited to present our studies at Dartmouth College where members of our community, along with other professionals, will attend to listen about what we've learned.
So, I would like to conclude by saying how grateful I am to the science department at Woodstock Union High School, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, and the National Park Foundation for giving our class the opportunity to do this project. I can't wait to start my research!