Dunckel, Steppingstone Students Help Monitor the Rouge River
During the week of May 2nd, students from Dunckel Middle School and Steppingstone School will join over 3,000 students from local southeast Michigan schools to conduct chemical tests, examine aquatic life, and survey the Rouge River.
The students’ efforts are a part of their participation in the Rouge Education Project, a program coordinated by the non-profit Friends of the Rouge. Through the Rouge Education Project students get to experience hands-on science in a real world setting.
Students may monitor up to nine different chemical parameters of the river including pH, dissolved oxygen, phosphorus, nitrates, and fecal coliform bacteria. The students will then collect and identify benthic macroinvertebrates, such as insect larvae that live in the bottom of the river, crayfish and snails. Lastly, students also complete a physical stream survey, which includes documenting the erosion of stream banks and measuring the velocity of the water.
“The Rouge Education Project provides K-12th grade students with an exceptional opportunity to gain hands on experience in real-world science, learn about their local ecosystem, and form lasting respect for the community in which they live,” Rouge Education Project Program Manager, Emily R. Hughes said.
The Rouge Education Project began in 1987 and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Its mission is to promote awareness and stewardship of the Rouge River watershed through school-based water quality monitoring, investigation and problem solving. In addition to water quality monitoring, students in the project are encouraged to take action to improve the health of the river based on their findings, and to consider how their everyday actions impact their environment.
The data that the students collect is made available to the public on the Friends of the Rouge website (therouge.org) and is provided to communities in the watershed.
The mission of the Friends of the Rouge is to promote the restoration and stewardship of the Rouge River ecosystem through education, citizen involvement and other collaborative efforts, for the purpose of improving the quality of life for the people, plants and animals of the watershed.
To learn more, contact Hughes at 313-792-9626.