85 Middle Schoolers Have the Best Summer Ever

Picture this, it's a hot summer day in very late June and Eastern NC is in the middle of a heatwave. By 10am, the temperature outside is 89°F with 100% humidity, yet 85 rising 6th graders are completely engaged in STEAM education. This group of summer campers is learning how to conduct a water quality analysis by looking for pollutant tolerant and intolerant benthic macroinvertebrates, often called indicator species. Cool right?

First, these students conducted a trial run on land. They experimented with scooping mock indicator species out of small tubs of water colored with hot chocolate packets. They used small fishing nets to drag the bottom of the tub scooping up beads and paper clips of various colors, and small and large rubber bands. Each item represented a different benthic macroinvertebrate or indicator species such as dragon fly nymphs, various insect larvae, snails, worms, or leeches. Benthic macroinvertebrates are organisms without backbones that live on rocks, logs and other debris found at the bottom of ponds, streams, rivers and lakes. 

   

Students then counted the quantity of each item they found in their pond and plotted whether or not it was considered a pollutant tolerant or pollutant intolerant species. Using that information, they assessed their pond's water quality.  

   

This is STEAM education at its finest.  STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Your gift to United Way of Pitt County makes this summer camp opportunity possible for 85 youth that are transitioning from elementary school to middle school. This program engages rising 6th graders in education, prepares them for middle school, gets them excited about what lies ahead and provides youth the best summer ever!

Help set up our local students for success!  A gift of $85 a month sends a rising 6th grader to camp!

Special thanks to A Time for Science for hosting our summer campers. Want to see more of what campers did that day? Click here.  And please share this email with anyone you think would be interested in learning how we get students excited about learning!