We had another enriching event with Horizons summer program. It is our second year hosting a field trip for Horizons school. Last year, we took a trip to the water treatment facility in Johns Creek. But, this year, we had a trip to Big Trees which is closer to home, right here in Sandy Springs.
Our wonderful WASS volunteer, Patti Larrimore, lead the event for these inquisitive 3rd and 4th graders. She is an AP science teacher at Riverwood High School and so is a great resource of knowledge regarding macro-invertebrates, watershed health, and general ecology. Patti also partnered with Beth Faircloth, who demonstrated the Enviroscape table and Erin (our newest intern), who ran the water testing table.
They started with a small hike and discussion about introduction concepts and then they split up into 4 groups. All groups rotated so they each could experience the activities.
- Enviroscape Demo
- Scavenger Hunt
- Water Testing
- Creek Clean Up
The Enviroscape Demo is a model that helps show how a watershed works. Beth is a real pro at leading this demonstration. She is very knowledgeable and is able to answer the great questions the children asked. It is a good fit for inquiry-based learning.
The groups were very hands on and able to use the spray bottles to create rain. This shows how the water runs through model and gives a tangible way of understanding it relates to the real world.
It was fun to see this particular group working together as a team as they found all their items.
The test kits were used with various tests and the children learn how to translate water quality into measurements that determine how clean and healthy the water really is.
The creek clean up an effort to find anything that did not belong in the water or surrounding area, like plastic or any other trash, and remove it. The groups were given trash bags and long grabbers to collect any of these undesirable items.
These four activities are a good representation of how we approach the different aspects of introduction ecology related to water and watersheds. We saw the lightbulbs go off in the kids heads!! It was awesome!