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Summer SAVY Session 5, Day 2, Aquatic Ecology

Posted by on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Day 2:  This morning, we started with the 4-corners getting to know you activity in which they have to choose among four options and move to a corner of the room.  We discovered that Elf is the most popular Christmas movie.  We then reviewed the experimental design, and they had to analyze two hypothetical experiments identifying the IV, DV, control, constants, whether there was replication, and generate a hypothesis and title.  Next, we looked at the problem they need to solve, which is the lack of sea trout on the menu of a restaurant.  They came up with some interesting hypotheses.  We finished up the morning with a simple experiment looking at the effect of salt concentration on water temperature.  We are examining many variables that impact water quality.

In the afternoon we discussed the properties of water discovering why it is such an important compound for living things, both internally as the solvent inside of us, and externally in the environment.  This led to a study of the relationship between water temperature and dissolved oxygen (DO), which turned out to be a challenging concept.  How is it that water holds oxygen and why does warmer water hold less oxygen?  Their first thought was that because the molecules in warmer water are spread out it will hold more oxygen because there is more space.  A demonstration of students (H2O) huddled together and then spread out showed that their classmate representing O2 could more easily escape when the water molecules were spread out (warmer).  In the experiment, we compared the rate at which fish respire in water that had been boiled (less O2) and water that had not been boiled.  We used a DO probe to confirm that the boiled water contained less oxygen.  We finished up with a discussion of the concept of the ecosystem and looked at a map of southeast Virginia as an example of an ecosystem.  In the PBL the sea trout is lacking from the menu of a restaurant in Hampton Virginia.  Tomorrow morning will look more closely at how land use affects water quality in the Hampton Roads area.  This evening feel free to ask your child about the homework question.