Middle school students participate in water day events

Students from Watershed Charter School learn about water filtration. (John Dougherty/KTVF)
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Students from the Watershed Charter School spent the day at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to learn more about how water moves, pollution, and how the climate can affect water.

"We were learning about water percolation in watersheds,” said Riley Olson, a student at Watershed Charter School. “And about pollution... how if pollution is percolating into the watershed, it can really affect even more than direct pollution into a channel."

Students from the school also got to see some of the data they have been collecting for the university. They have been participating in a citizen scientist program with UAF to study effects of the climate on berries in Alaska.

"My students have been have been going out to a spot in the woods close to our school. We have been looking at rose hips this year and over the last couple years," Watershed Charter School teacher Becky Hanson said.

Olson said they, “Look at berries to see if they are dried, rotting or if they are normal.”

After the students collect the data, they send it to scientists at UAF to analyze. Christi Buffington, the Education Outreach Specialist at International Arctic Research Center (IARC) says that UAF wanted to show the kids the fruits of their work.

"We've invited them to come back to UAF to learn about their own data, [and] compare it to other communities across Alaska. And since they are Watershed School and they are also doing a sustainable cities for water plan, we also thought my students could mentor them in their plan," Buffington said.

Undergraduate students in the watershed class at UAF worked with the middle schoolers to help them come up with a sustainable city plan, taught them about some of the ways water works, and how important water is.

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