This is the question that 10th grade Biology students from Woodstock Union High School collected data in order to try to answer. Two groups of 30 students hiked up to the Pogue with test kits and plankton nets in tow. Teacher Patty Murray has been coming to the Pogue for years, and is always excited to bring an element of field work into her biology classes.
Students used pond water sample to determine concentrations of dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, phosphate, pH, and temperature. They worked on refining their titration and measuring skills, which is tricky business in the field! In addition, students made sensory observations about the pond ecosystem, complete with sketches and area maps. As a follow-up, students will be taking out the microscopes to examine plankton that they captured in small samples. The conclusion of this unit will be a lab report where students argue how healthy they think the Pogue is based on the data that they collected.