Watersheds and Benthic Bugs Part 2

On April 18, 2019, twenty-seven students of Ms. Esparza’s 5th grade class at Kinsey Inquiry and Discovery School visited Griffith’s Spring near Flagstaff to continue their semester long study of watersheds, water quality, and human impacts on the environment. 


Students hiked a total of a mile round trip. While at Griffiths spring they conducted water chemical quality testing to check for such things as dissolved oxygen, phosphates, and nitrate. They also hunted for aquatic macroinvertebrates to see what variety and quantity of insects could be found in the area. As the students learned during a prior classroom activity, macroinvertebrates are the primary consumers of the aquatic environment thus making up the base of the trophic pyramid. For the ecosystem to be healthy, and large number and variety of species are required and certain species are more intolerant of pollution than others, making them good indicator species of water health. 


After gathering their data and considering nearby point source and nonpoint source pollution the students decided that Griffith’s Spring water quality was likely good to very good, but would need more extensive data sets to make a definite conclusion. 


A productive day or exploration and learning for young scientists!