X-Stream Science is a inquiry-based learning opportunity lead by local experts to connect students to their watershed through real world science. Best suited to students in grades 7-12, X-Stream Science aims to have schools commit to sampling the same location every year to allow quality long-term data to be collected.
Students get outside to participate in hands-on, scientific inquiry by collecting biological, chemical, and physical data on the water and surrounding land. Content is curriculum- and place-based.
Water quality, quantity, and land-use data is collected, analyzed and stored to be monitored and compared over time. This data will help students and decision makers make good choices to help our watersheds.
What is the health of our local stream environment?
How are different land uses changing water quality?
How do habitat variables affect aquatic life systems?
What changes can we see over time?
The quality of the water tells us if our greater watershed is healthy and if the life that relies on that water is healthy, too. When the water quality is poor (unhealthy), then we know there are upstream or land-use effects that are negatively impacting the water. Once we know this, we can take action to improve things!
X-Stream Science will allow the participants the hands-on opportunity to research, investigate, access, collect data, interpret data and form conclusions on the condition of the waterbody they are monitoring.
The water quality data will be collected from streams across the watershed each year. This data will be used by schools and the Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils to monitor the health of our local streams and greater watersheds. To allow the data to be comparable, we must follow a standardized set of protocols.