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F-M students to lead water quality demonstration at Mill Run Park

Derek Conant from the Cornell Cooperative Extension talks with Fayetteville-Manlius science students about a macroinvertebrate they discovered in the creek at Mill Run Park.

Derek Conant from the Cornell Cooperative Extension talks with Fayetteville-Manlius science students about a macroinvertebrate they discovered in the creek at Mill Run Park.

— Have you ever wondered what is in the water you drink or the streams in which you fish?

Students working with Fayetteville-Manlius High School biology teacher Ben Gnacik plan to find out.

The students are volunteering their time to work with representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension to practice taking and analyzing water samples in what is being called “Project Watershed.”

The community is invited to a hands-on, student-led demonstration of water discovery from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at Mill Run Park in Manlius. Three different student-led stations will focus on living things found in water and what they mean; physical tests like speed, velocity and turbidity (the clarity) of the water; and chemical tests searching for dissolved oxygen and nitrogen. The students participating in the event will be available to answer questions and assist community members in taking and analyzing water samples.

“Having students teach what they’ve learned allows them to better understand and apply their knowledge,” Gnacik said. “They have worked hard to learn this information and have done a wonderful job preparing for the event.”

In the past, high school students who received the training went into middle school classrooms and taught fifth grade students how to study the water.

“Studying the water makes students aware of problems both locally and globally with pollution of water sources, as well as the cause of the pollution and potential ways to monitor the water’s improvement,” Gnacik said.

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