Fifth Graders Studying the Jordan River

Fifth Graders Studying the Jordan River

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Dina Freedman ReportingSchool children at Rose Park Elementary in Salt Lake found that learning doesn't always have to be in the classroom. KSL Meteorologist Dina Freedman follows the kids to the Jordan River where they were figuring out what's living in the water.

Hands on learning is taking place for kids at Rose Park Elementary school.

Fifth Graders Studying the Jordan River

Volunteer: "So what's happening guys?"

Child: "Bubbles are going up!"

Lis Cohen, NSF Fellow: "we are going to be studying aquatic insects, which are indicators of how healthy the stream is or dirty the stream is."

Graduate students sponsored by the National Science Foundation are helping school age kids with interesting projects, and this task is to find out what's in the water at Jordan River.

Lis Cohen: "Students love insects and love getting their hands dirty and figuring out exactly how polluted the stream is, because it's relative to them, they live here by the river."

The kids are learning about different kinds of bugs along with water quality.

Kristen Hyde, 5th Grader: "It's a fingernail clam, and sometimes if you look at it, a little bit of white stuff will come out from its insides and these little yellow antennae things, kind of things will come out."

Felix Avelar, 5th Grader: "Because there were clean bugs and dirty bugs in the water."

They are learning not just about pollution, but how to utilize the scientific method by making a hypothesis and taking observations.

Volunteer: "Why is it not so clear?"

Students: "Because there's dirt, there's mud and stuff carried in the water."

The kids were looking for different kinds of insects that live in the water, so they found ones like a leech that normally lives in polluted water, and then they found others like the stonefly nymph that normally lives in clean water. So it looks like the Jordan water has just about average water quality.

While finding out about the bugs, they are also learning how to care for the environment, and 5th grader Felix has some advice.

Felix Avelar: "Not throw garbage in there and stuff like that."

For part of the project each student had to draw and figure out its approximate size.

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