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Middle and High School Students Attend First Annual K-12 Water Quality Symposium at Clarkson

[A Photograph for media use is available at]

Eighth grade students from Brasher Falls and Parishville-Hopkinton, eighth and eleventh grade students from Hermon-Dekalb and eleventh grade students from Colton Central Schools participated in a water quality symposium and poster presentation Friday, December 2 in Clarkson's Cheel Campus Center. CP K12

The K-12 Project Based Learning Partnership Program initiated a 10 week curriculum on Water Quality Assessment in the four schools this fall. The curriculum included background information on the water cycle and watersheds, testing water for nitrates, phosphates, coliform (e-coli) and macroinvertebrates and water treatment methods. Each school studied two separate sites on local rivers including the Oswegatchie, Little Racquette and St. Regis. Undergraduate students and graduate level students in science, mathematics, engineering and technology from Clarkson and St. Lawrence served as teaching fellows for the program.

"The K-12 Project Based Learning Project" makes science and math come alive for younger students and gives them hands-on experience in scientific inquiry and problem solving," remarked Powers. "We need to encourage students' interest in these disciplines at the earliest levels of their education so they will be prepared to compete for the high-tech jobs awaiting them in the adult world."

The symposium was made possible through the support of the K-12 Project Based Learning Partnership Program and the Clarkson Great Rivers Center.

The other top honor went to Parishville-Hopkinton eighth graders Ashley Kearney, Alex Lalonde, Sarah James and Courtney Smith. Eighth grade science and chemistry teacher Sandy Miller along with teaching fellows John Bean, a PhD candidate in civil engineering at Clarkson and Emily Sheldon, a student at St. Lawrence University, advised the team.

Sarah Scafidi McGuire, the curriculum coordinator for the K-12 partnership program, welcomed the students to Clarkson and showed them how to "make rain" using their hands and feet. Although there were no actual rain drops produced, the students did manage to make it sound as if they were in the middle of rain forest, complete with the distant rumble of thunder.

Michael R. Twiss, Assistant Professor of Biology and director of the Great Rivers Center at Clarkson spoke to the students about all of the jobs related to water in the areas of fishing, shipping, remote sensing, recreation, security, power generation, and water treatment. He also showed the students photos of the research vessels he uses and demonstrated some of the equipment used in his research.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty achieve international recognition for their research and scholarship and connect students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

PHOTO CAPTION: Parishville-Hopkinton eighth Graders Ashley Kearney (L), Alex Lalonde, science and chemistry teacher Sandy Miller, Sarah James, Courtney Smith and Clarkson teaching fellow John Bean pose with their poster at the First Annual K-12 Water Quality Symposium at Clarkson's Cheel Campus Center, Friday, December 2. St. Lawrence teaching fellow Emily Sheldon was unavailable for the photo. The team's poster tied for first place honors with Colton Central School.

PHOTO CAPTION: Colton Central School Science Teacher Steve Manders (L) poses with senior Jared Sharlow, junior Josh Avery and teaching fellow Sonya Havens with the poster the students prepared for the First Annual K-12 Water Quality Symposium at Clarkson's Cheel Campus Center, Friday, December 2. The poster tied for first place honors with Parishville-Hopkinton.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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