Teachers Wade into Benedictine's Water-Quality Workshop

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), August 14, 2000 | Go to article overview

Teachers Wade into Benedictine's Water-Quality Workshop


Having the summer away from the classroom is a nice perk. Kids appear to pack in a lot of fun, and so do some teachers. Astute parents manage to enrich the fun with learning, and so do enthusiastic teachers.

Twenty-five such teachers recently gathered at Benedictine University for a weeklong, fun workshop sponsored by the Jurica Nature Museum of the university and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

A grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Region Five gave each teacher an aquarium for his or her classroom.

Participants came to enhance their current schools' curriculum, master investigative monitoring of water quality and develop activities that will lead to a field trip for their students.

Each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the group donned knee-high boots to wade in brooks, canoed along streams to study erosion and restoration, and scooped up river sediment to investigate aquatic habitats.

The teachers took home ideas to interconnect their hands-on experience with future lesson plans.

"To actually get out there and experience for yourself is always a plus, just like it is with the students," said Karen Yaeger, a teacher for 14 years.

Each year, she has her fourth-grade students at River Woods Elementary in Naperville monitor a stream and raise small mouth bass.

"I picked up some things at the workshop to help my students focus on the bass coming and water activities before going to the river for an October release," she said. "This year, if there is student interest, we may keep (a bass) and raise it until a spring release." A larger fish has a better chance of survival, she said.

Another possible for Yaeger's class is stenciling storm sewers. Students stencil "Dump No Waste - Drains to River" near the covers as a reminder to residents.

As the Ranch View Elementary math enrichment teacher, Cathy Kaduk said the workshop provided an opportunity to look at macroinvertebrates with experts in the field. She plans to connect math applications to the experiences by having students look at the growth of the bass, measure the volume in the tank before and after the fish arrival and log chemical testing results.

The workshops provided teachers with ways to help students learn the importance of rivers. The DuPage River is critically important to this area, said Judy Hammer of the Conservation Foundation in Naperville. …

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