What are those critters in the water?

Did you know that water quality can be assessed by the number and type of organisms in the water? The Ohio Corn & Wheat-sponsored Feed the World workshops include great hands-on lessons and also provide teachers with the supplies needed to share the lessons with students. Kecia Slob-Stewart of River Valley High School attended the summer workshop and took advantage of the great fall weather to do the lessons with her Environmental Studies students.

Slob-Stewart started with the Biotic Sampling activity that allows students practice in identifying macro invertebrates before going to an actual stream or water source. She said her students got very engaged in this simulation. "They were great with the lesson in class—looking things up on the internet to attempt to identify the organisms and working to figure out what the condition of their "environment" was like."

Then her class went to a nearby stream to collect and analyze freshwater specimens. They also performed chemical tests to assess water quality.

"We definitely learned that they don't look exactly as shown in the pictures!! Our naturalist was great and helped us get the invertebrates straight," said Slob-Stewart. The class found caddisflies, snails, clams, crayfish, and others.

Slob-Stewart said the workshop was very helpful and that this water quality lesson in particular appealed to her students. "I loved this lesson and the kids loved it also and learned a lot from it!"

Watch for information about this summer's workshops so you can benefit from the training and supplies!