Janetski and Holly Travis from the IUP Biology Department offered an Act 48
workshop for teachers from the Indiana and Armstrong school districts on August
16, 2016, as part of their recently awarded Environmental Education Grant from
the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Participating
teachers sampled macroinvertebrates linked to water quality at the Tanoma AMD Wetlands
site, offered suggestions for related high school student activities, and
planned field trips with their students for fall and spring during the 2016–17
The grant project, Western PA Water Watch, will create a water quality assessment protocol, an accessible database
for stream sampling results, and related curriculum materials for use by
participating teachers and those who are unable to bring students to the field,
but who still want to use real local water quality data in their classrooms. IUP
faculty and students work with teachers during field sampling and will manage and
maintain the database. Through participation in this project, students in area
schools will develop a greater understanding of the ecological value of
Pennsylvania’s watersheds while meeting state science standards.
By introducing high school students to
authentic research experiences relevant to their own community, and by
highlighting skills such as critical thinking and communication, this project
will generate interest in science and awareness of local environmental concerns
through interactions with researchers, educators, and college students.
Photo: Erin Janetski from
the IUP Biology Department works with area teachers as they sample macroinvertebrates at the
Tanoma Wetlands site.