At the beginning of each school year, the seventh grade students at Olmstead School do a water quality “creek” study in conjunction with the study of ecology.
For a few weeks, students study systems, the topography of the land surrounding Whipporwill Creek, and perform numerous experiments in class with chemicals and fertilizer that might affect the water. As a culminating activity, the class takes a walking field trip to a branch of the Whipporwill Creek, located about one mile from Olmstead School.
The students wade into the creek to collect macroinvertebrates, identify them, and tally the number of each that are caught. Then, using a collection chart, they determine if the creek is in good, fair, or poor condition before returning the specimens to their habitat.
In the last four years, science teacher Teresa Haynes has added a new component to the unit. Tameka McCullough from the Logan/Todd Water District walks with students and collects vials of water that is later tested for bacteria and minerals. She does a follow up presentation for the 7th grade and shares her results. The numbers for previous years are discussed as well.