Hamilton MS students experience nature through field trip
Hamilton Middle School eighth-grade student Rashaun Middleton examines a macro invertebrate he collected using dip nets at the Bayou Land Conservancy at Little Cypress Creek during a recent field trip.
April 13, 2012— Selected eighth-grade students at Hamilton Middle School benefited from a Target grant by participating in aquatic fieldwork at the Bayou Land Conservancy at Little Cypress Creek, located at Spring-Cypress and Telge roads.
Applying concepts learned in the classroom, students used a dichotomous key to identify vines in the woods. The most important vine they identified was poison ivy. Students created drawings and debated if leaves were two or five-foliated.
Students compared biodiversity transects of a grassy area with that of the wooded area and also traced the flow of water from the Little Cypress Creek watershed all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Students observed the traveling effect of pollutants as they flow from one body of water to the next in a demonstration by the local biologist.
Donning boots and carrying nets, students examined the health of a wetlands area by following a simple scientific method. Students identified key species such as fishing spiders, frogs and tadpoles which are sensitive to pollution and dragonfly nymphs, whirligig beetles, damselfly nymphs and water scorpions which are somewhat sensitive to pollution. Calculating the water quality scores, students determined that the wetland area had excellent water quality at this time.
Throughout the experience, students were exposed to the idea of land conservancy and the importance to the community of these areas.
“This is the way science needs to be studied—no child left inside,” said Mary Patterson, Hamilton science campus content instructional specialist (CCIS). “We are extremely grateful for our partnership with Target, which enabled our students to get out there and apply concepts learned in the classroom. These are the experiences that students will remember when taking their STAAR test in the upcoming weeks.”