Learning through Global Collaboration & Peer Review

January 08, 2006

Purpose of the Project

RatransThis extraordinary project, which began in 2004, is an ongoing collaboration among all of the Mabry science teachers, the Mabry Science Club, the Rivers Alive Watershed Clean-up and Educational group, the Cobb County Adopt-a-Stream program, the Cobb County Parks and Recreation Service, and the Keep Cobb Beautiful organization.  The project received an $11,000 grant in 2004.  Their work has been recognized with the first place award in the Youth Environmental Symposium, sponsored by the Georgia Conservancy.2004Yeslogo

The purpose of the project is to conduct a detailed, ongoing study of the flora, fauna, environmental and sociological issues in Sweat Mountain Park, which is contiguous to our school property.  In addition to keeping detailed records of the water quality and plant and animal life in the park, semi-annual clean up and maintenance events, wildlife demonstrations, lunch in the park, and movie-making activities are scheduled for the whole family and our greater community.  These events have proven to be great fun for the whole family in addition to meeting an important environmental need in our community.  The movies of past events have been shared with a sing-along for young students at two of our elementary schools on Earth Day.

The Mabry Global Learning Collaborative will feature information and data related to this ongoing community collaboration. If you are interested in participating in this project, you may contact any of the Mabry science teachers; however, Mrs. Carroll, who actually began the project, will serve as your primary contact.

May 7, 2007

Almost done

Our research is coming along great! Most everyones research is done. One member of our group is almost done with their project but they have to record their data in their logbook. They still have to take the alluminum foil off of the plants. Another member of our group still has to average all of their data. When they are done with the averaging they can start on the final report. The last member of our group is done with all of their data collecting and just needs to type up the final report. When everyone is done doing their individual reports we need to work on the group presentation. We are going to do a slide show with graphs and the pictures of the trees and plants that we took.

Cray Crazy Update

It is a new season and we have realized it is harder to catch crayfish. Our project will be done in a week from now. Last time we were out we made a lot of progress. Now we will only have to go outside one more time, which is today. After a quick scan of aour data it looks like crayfish prefer rocky bottoms.
OUR TEAM WILL GIVE OUR LAST UPDATE AFTER WE ARE COMPLETELY FINISHED WITH OUR PROJECT!

May 5, 2007

Simple Life--Protists

I am finally getting around to posting. I have been too caught up in my project (O_o) lately!
Actually...
I am done collecting my data. The past two months or so have been filled with going down to the creek, collecting samples, viewing them under the microscope, and sketching what I see in my field of view. The samples came from three different areas each of the three trials.
A=squeezed from the PF block
B=deeper water (pool)
C=shallower water (riffle)
I decided whether or not the protists I saw were algae (plant-like) or protozoa (animal-like) and made a still-incomplete table of that data. Now I am working on typing up my final report.
I have also discovered that my original hypothesis is not supported at all by the collected data. In the beginning, I thought that the most protists, would be found in sample A; however, after viewing all the samples, C is actually the one with the most algae AND protozoa. I thought this was interesting and wonder why this is so.

May 4, 2007

Murky Waters Moving On

We have now completed 4 tests and we are getting ready to start wrapping up the project. We have 4 test sites, site 1 is the farthest away from the dog park located next to a small culvert, site 2 is located write next to the dog park, site 3 is located on the main creek where the water always looks clearest, and site four is second furthest away from the dog park where the water always has a rusty look. Site 2 has had the highest coliform count on 3 of the four occasions, leading us to believe the hypothesis is correct.

Leaves, Trees, and Wannabees Update!

We seem to have been so busy lately that our blog reports have not been updated diligently. The group that is working with lichens has gotten very far, along with our leaves correspondent. Also, the person mapping out the park has finally begun their work!
Lichens- We have nearly completed all of our data collecting in three different locations around the school grounds. Also, we have begun to write our observations in a manner that can be submitted to our instructor. Although we can not yet be sure of this, since we are not completely done, we believe that the majority of lichens grow facing the north. This, however, may not be accurate, since the light intensity was always strongest in the north, thus the amount of sunlight reaching the lichens may be an important factor instead of the direction.

Leaves- My leaf analysis is going well. I finished my first trial in December, and am now about to start my second. I am going to repeat the trial this week. For my first testing, I used pointsettas, and I am deciding whether to repeat my second trial with the same plant or use another common household plant. A chat with my instructor should clear this up.

Trees- So far, in my tree idntification, I have marked off ten trees to identify. I have also identified four out of these ten and have possibile identifications for all of them. In addition, I have made a calendar including all of my goals and due dates.

Crawfish

Now our data is 5=riffles, 8=runs, and 9=pools. So far more caryfish are found in pools. Since January 25 we haven't found as many crayfish as before, but they seem to have grown in size.

Macroinvertebrates

The macroinvertebrates are definetly more active in cool water. The latest test I took shows that few are caught in warm or hot water, but the same happens with cold water. The most macroinvertebrates were caught when the water was 10.8 C. This shows the temperature of the water macroinvertebrates like.

April 24, 2007

Macroinvertebrates and Bacteria

The macroinvertebrate and bacteria projects are going well. The macroinvertebrates

come out when it is cool, but not cold. This was around ten degrees celsius. Mostly

crane flies and crayfish were caught, so this means that the river's ability to support

more sensitive is low. These two organisms are somewhat tolerant of poor water, but others

are not. If the creek had more of the sensitive macroinvertebrates, that would mean it

had a higher water quality.

The bacteria in the Sweat Mountain Creek has been improving with less fecal

coliform and E-coli. The last time I took a data collection the temperature was warmer

and it was closer to the dog park and that resulted in more bacteria. Near the dog park

there were 140 colonies of bacteria in the sample I took. Far away from the dog park

there were 48 colonies. Each time there were few or no E-coli and fecal coliform

colonies.

February 2, 2007

project research

hi i'm monkey #3. When expirementing always keep a project journal. In science if you didn't write it down, then it is like it didn't happen. It also helps you keep track of progress.

Protist Project

Hi, I'm Monkey #1 and this is my first post. I am currently collecting water samples from a creek nearby and I am analyzing them for microscopic creatures called protists. Protists were the first organisms when Earth was created, so it is interesting to observe them.

Zonebies: Day 1

Our research project is about the condition, in terms of the amount of different kinds of vegetation, of the Riparian Buffer Zone of a tributary of Rubes creek that runs through the Sweat Mountain Park area. As of now, we only plan to investigate the first 15-20 ft. of the entire RBZ.

Wednesday we put six stakes in the ground to mark out the area we will be researching. It took a while, so we didn't get anything else done. We will begin collecting data next Wed.

Slippery Salamanders -December 12

Only 3 salamanders were found today. One in a pool, one in a riffle, and one in a run. Most of these were found towards the dog park. The teams working on crayfish have also caught a couple of salamanders that we have used. I was very suprised that only 3 were found. Be sure to read our next post, thank you!
-Julia

Slippery Salamanders -December 12

Only 3 salamanders were found today. One in a pool, one in a riffle, and one in a run. Most of these were found towards the dog park. The teams working on crayfish have also caught a couple of salamanders that we have used. I was very suprised that only 3 were found. Be sure to read our next post, thank you!
-Julia

Introduction to "Salamanders in Sweat Mountain Park"

Hi and welcome to the Sweat Mountain Park blog. This area of the blog is on the salamanders in Sweat Mountain Park. My name is Julia and along with my partner Alex and the rest of my class we go into the creek and conduct our designated projects. I'm studying what type of salamanders can be found and where and Alex is studying the size of the salamanders that we find.
So far we've had luck finding the salamanders using the kicksein in the pools of the creek. It has been difficult finding them in other places such as the riffles and runs. I need to find them on land, pools, riffles and runs. Only 2 specimens of salamanders have been found. Only 11 have been found. 10 of those are a muddy brown color and 1 is orange-green. I was suprised that we never found another of the orange-green kind.
Please contine reading the other entries for more information on the salamanders in Sweat Mounatin Park. We hope that you will find it interesting. Thank you!

Creek Erosion

I've gone through a few ideas, but finally decided on a good one. I tied a string across the creek's depression and marked it every 30 cm with yarn. Now I'll measure down to the ground the surface of the creek every other week. It should work pretty well.

February 1, 2007

Sqwird1- wiggle worm

Our project is about various depths that worms burrow to when affected by different temperatures. So far we have collected the first trial of data for room temperature and cold temperature. At room temperature we found 26 worms ( 24 original & 2 babies), mostly at the bottom of the tank. The worms seemed to move normally. At cold temperature however, we made a misake. At first, we would just set a bucket of ice on top of the soil. Then we had the idea of mixing the ice into the soil to make a more realistic cold enviornment for the worms. Our plan however,failed. Not thinking, the ice melted, making the soil flood. The good thing was that we found 26 of the same worms. But, they seemed to be moving faster, and they were seen at the top of the soil when we lifted the ice bucket up. We definately learned from our mistake and learned not to mix too much ice in the soil.

Project Progress

One member of the funky Fungi is doing a database research project on fungus in the park. The member learned that there are many lichens in the park. There are also two species of tree fungi found in the park. One is White Foams fungi, and the other species is Witch's Butter fungi.

Continue reading "Project Progress" »

Park Days #4-5

DAY #4
Today was horrible!!! We went to gok and check the progress of our coverboards and tubes,only to find that the coverboards were blown away by a water storm. Now we have about three boards and two pipes that need to be put back into place.
Today was very upsetting because it either means that we will have les s data or we will have to work even harder for the same amount of data that we were aiming to get before.
An upside of today was that we found some good future sports for coverboards.
DAY #5
Today was the first day that we took the dip net out in the park to try to catch some salamanders. We split up our group at the beginning of the class period so that we would be able to get more done in a small amount of time. Two people replaced two of the coverboards in spot 2A. The other two people went down closer to the sewer and used the dip net to try to find any salamanders in the riffle areas.
Today we all wore boots, so that we could walk through the water and do the dip net.
The main upside of today was that we found our first salamander. It was in the riffle areas of the creek. The two people that were using the dip net found the salamander because the other two people were looking for a shovel to use so that we could dig an area under the coverboards so that the salamanders would have somewhere to live.

Murky Waters (An introduction)

The project of the Murky Waters group is a study of the impact of the newly formed dog park on the creek in, near, and around Sweat mountain park. We are studying how distance from the dogpark effects E. coli and fecal coliform levels. We have decided to use the product Coliscan gel for our testing procedures.
On our first testing day we decided on four testing sites labled 1, 2, 3, and 4. Test sight 1 is located at the source of the Sweat Mountain Park end of the creek. Test sight 2 is located in a ditch nearest the dog park. Test sight 3 is located near a clear fast running section of the creek. Test sight 4 is located at a murky and usually polluted looking sight on the creek.
Our first testing Day went well. Test sight four was looking very unclean yet when we checked it's results it had one of the lesser coliform levels. The creek appeared to be at an average level with no serious rain within the last couple days. When pouring one of the solutions from the water into a petri dish we poured it into the wrong side causing the results of one test to be useless.
Question to ponder: Alatoona lake is very down compared to what it usually is yet it seems that the creek is unaffected. Why?
Testing Day two went well too. We had slight trouble remebering which test sight was which but we figured it out. Testing site four no longer looked so polluted but we hypothesized that this was due to heavy rain the previous days. When arriving back at the class room to prepare the solutions, however we discovered that we had not recorded how much water we had used last time. After some thought we deciede we had used three milileters and finished preparing our solutions. We have not recieved the results yet.

First posting of the floating foxes

CB here and this is the first post of the floating foxes, or ff. CB doing expirments on the creek's flow velocity and cubic feetper second. CC is doing a project on attracting bats to our school park. And last but not least, GR is doing an investigation into the growth of cyanobacteria with the circumstances of different amounts of fertilizer and different types of water.

Continue reading "First posting of the floating foxes" »

May 2007

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