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October 03, 2006
Research in the Park

The park is your laboratory this year!

What questions do you want to spend your time investigating?
Are you interested in biology, physical science, Earth science?
Are you interested in the organisms that live in the natural spaces in our community? Do you care about how the natural areas are used by people?

Think about all of the possibilities for field studies.

Your goal is to come up with a project involving data collection that is related to Sweat Mountain Park and/or other similar areas in our local environment. It could be a controlled experiment, a data collection and analysis type project, or even a service learning project

Service learning projects are great if you want to get involved with “making a difference” in the park. Need some money to make your project happen? Do not worry, the Mabry Science Club may be able to help you. As first place finishers in the Youth Environmental Symposium of 2005, they earned a cash award that can be used for worthy projects. The club may be interested in helping you with your project. You will be required to submit a proposal that details your plan to request funding. (More on that later.)

We have many materials at school that should help you with you study (water quality testing kits, microscopes, ProScopes, data collection probe-ware, boots, materials for collecting stream macro-invertebrates, GPS devices, other measurement tools, etc.) so keep that in mind when planning your investigation.

Right now you should be exploring some of the many ideas that you have for your park project. Use the pre-research FLIP it! that Mrs. Hendrix prepared for you to get you thinking and finding information about your ideas. You will need to have a working idea for your project by next week. Here are some broad categories of research ideas.

Earth Science:

Geology
o Soil analysis
o Erosion studies
o Geologic history of the area

Meteorology
o Weather impact on ???
o Rainfall/runoff studies
o Light intensity questions
Hydrology
o Stream water flow studies
o Chemical/physical parameters of the water
o Watershed questions

Life Science:

Impact of people on the environment
Soil organisms
Water organisms
Life cycle questions- tadpoles, insects, plant species
Assessment of what lives in the park (trees, wildflowers, fungus, lichens, insects, etc.)
Opportunistic species, invasive species, exotic species, native plants, etc.


Physical Science:

Light intensity
Temperature

I have heard some of your great ideas and am looking forward to helping you with your projects this year!

Posted by Mrs. Carroll

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