In the Stormwater Explorers program, students will be recruited from Taunton and New Bedford will work in teams to conduct science exploration while using the Vernier Monitoring System to explore parking lot hydrology, water quality and MWEE field trips to explore aquatic insect communities and eel populations of either the Nemasket or Mill Rivers.
Both are tributaries of the Taunton River and important to river herring and American eels using the TRW. The Nemasket River has traditionally been the largest herring fishery in Massachusetts and the Mill River has recently had three dam removal and modification projects to restore the herring and eel fishery. The Explorers summer program will not only serve to test the newly developed curriculum on selected students, but will provide an opportunity to train the students to be project leaders in their schools.
We will also use the summer program to gain additional feedback on its impact on increasing student interest in STEM careers and further watershed stewardship activities in their districts. Understanding of stormwater impacts on water quality, stream ecology and diadromous fish will be assessed with a pre and post-test as well as a survey of their interests and perceptions from their one-week experience.
Students will also demonstrate their expertise during a presentation of finding at the end of the week to a panel of experts, fellow participants and family members.