Get Real! Water Quality Investigation

Water quality was the target this summer for middle-school students attending the Warner School's Get Real! Environmental Action Camp. Under the supervision of Warner graduate students, campers investigated and tested the water of Lake Ontario, and then created public service announcements (PSA's) to raise awareness of water quality issues.

April Luehmann, assistant professor, created and hosted the first Get Real! Camp last year in an effort to enrich the experiences of graduate students and introduce new teaching techniques, as well as to engage kids in learning about real science problems. This year, Luehmann and Meg Callahan, assistant professor, collaborated to add a media literacy component, both to enhance English education students' experiences in the teacher education program, and to demonstrate how subjects like science and English can be integrated in schools.

The beach at Lake Ontario was targeted again this year because high bacteria counts continue to keep the beach from opening to swimmers for half of the summer. The campers also conducted interviews and worked in the University's multimedia center on digital equipment to create the PSAs.

"This is an exercise, in part, to teach them how to be better consumers of media and to take the media into their own hands," says Callahan.

The students reported their scientific findings and premiered their PSAs during a final presentation to guests and community leaders on the final day of camp.

Tags: April Luehmann, english education, Get Real! Environmental Action Camp, Get Real! Science, Meg Callahan, science, science education