Written by: KATHRYN TRUE
A slightly shorter version of this article appeared in the November 13th Beachcomber as part of a series on citizen science.
“I got another one!” “Look at this!” “It’s a mayfly — see the tails!” “I don’t understand why kids don’t like science… This is the best lab ever.”
These comments echoed through a McMurray Middle School science classroom last month as sixth graders eagerly sifted through leafy debris from Shinglemill and Needle Creeks water samples. They were working to find and identify stream-dwelling invertebrates — in this case mostly tiny insect larva, some barely visible to the naked eye — which scientists use to gauge water health. Vashon Nature Center, as part of a Vashon-Maury Island Groundwater Protection Committee study, brought invertebrates from local streams into six science classrooms where, with the help of local biologists, hand magnifiers, keys and microscopes, 100 students learned to ...read more