On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to participate in a special program that was performed in Entiat National Fish Hatchery located in a small town named Entiat, next to Entiat River. The program is called Kids in the Creek, where high school students visit Entiat National Fish Hatchery in a field day to explore and investigate stream ecosystem through hands-on activities rotating between 6 different stations. Each station is focus on a different topic that explain stream ecosystem, which some stations are titled: Water Quality, Riparian Rx, Fish Health, Habitat Sense, Invert Investigator, H2O Quantity.
During the field day, I was helping to coordinate high school groups, take pictures and support station if they needed help. These duties allow me to go through each station and listen to the station leaders and see the student reactions. It was a day fuel of information for the students and a great opportunity for them to practice what they have been learning at school. Honestly, I was a little jealous because I would like to be able to attend a program like that when I was in high school, but I am so happy I participated as part of the staff because I learned so much just going through each station and listening to students and scientists in the program. It was like going back to high school.. hahah 🙂
In the Water Quality, students measured the oxygen in a stream water example, tested stream water to see if it has soap waste, and share ideas on how to keep stream water healthy. In Riparian station, students walked through the area identifying plant species, then made a survey in the riparian area where they filled out a data sheet.
In the Fish Health Station, students analyzed fish anatomy and discussed each organ function and investigated how chemicals in the water impact fish behavior and how an ideal fish habitat looks like.
In the Habitat Sense, students performed a stream habitat survey to analyze the habitat for the fish and how the watershed contributes to stream health conditions.
In Invert Investigator, students investigated the macroinvertabrates in the stream and analyzed how water quality can impact this aquatic insects.
In H2O Quantity, students tested the stream flow and made the calculation to know the CfS on the stream. With this information, students analyzed the connection of water quantity to stream health and how human actions can influence water quantity.
Kids in the Creek program introduced different specialist scientists and high school students from different schools in a single place where we all learned together, laugh together and make science together. During this adventure, I learned so much about water quality, watershed and stream ecosystem and met so many nice and wonderful people from station leaders, volunteers, scientists, teachers, to high school students (the future scientists!).
“Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.” – William Wordsworth