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Step 3: Host an EcoSpark river study

Through the Changing Currents program, an EcoSpark staff member will help you and your students conduct a water quality assessment at your local stream or river. He or she will make sure that you have the equipment you need and you adhere to benthic macro-invertebrate monitoring protocols.

Your students will collect the samples, sort the benthos (the bugs), and identify them. At the end of the day you will have scientifically defensible data to take back to class. You can study the stream or river of your choice. EcoSpark staff can also assist you in finding a stream near your school. See here for previous sites.

EcoSpark provides all of the equipment necessary including the following resources (which you will need to print and provide to your students):

 

Data sheets which students use to record information about the stream and about the benthos they collect - these are important sheets Data Sheet Thumbnail
Descriptive Identification Guides which students need to identify their benthos  Classification Guide Thumbnail
Identification Keys in the form of a tree diagram (organized by physical characteristics) which students need to identify their benthos Identification Key thumbnail
Chemical Analysis Handouts which guide students through analysing the pH, dissolved oxygen level, temperature, and turbidity of the stream Chemical Handout Thumbnail