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Junior aquatic detectives hone their skills at water watch day

Students from Capertee, Hampton, Glen Alice and Euchareena public schools have honed their skills as young aquatic detectives at the Small Schools Water Watch Day held in Sofala on Monday 27 March.

Bruce Christie from Central Tablelands Local Land Services worked with the Red Hill Environmental Education Centre to immerse the primary school students in the science of water quality and riparian ecology.

“We focused our research on the Turon River and the kids had fantastic day learning about the local water cycle and why water is precious, as well as doing some hands on investigation into the creatures that live in the Turon,” said Bruce.

Students used binoculars to explore the landforms of the research site, while also recording sightings of animals found around the water course and inspecting the local vegetation profile.

They extended their skills in geography using mapping techniques and learning about human use and management of the water flow in the Turon, as well as testing equipment to assess water quality.

“The highlight of the day for most of the kids was when we took nets and buckets into the river to collect water samples, and then identified some of the macro-invertebrates that make the Turon home,” said Bruce.

The four schools that took part in the Water Watch Day are all part of the ‘One Schools Network’.  The students have been studying the topic ‘Living Things and Life Cycles’ and taking part in weekly video conferences to share their learning.

According to ‘One Schools’ coordinators Belinda Greer, Principal of Hampton Public School, and Duncan Peard, Principal of Capertee Public School, the Water Watch Day was a great success.

“It was wonderful seeing the students from all four schools working collaboratively with local experts in conducting the stream watch learning activities, as well as seeing their friendships continue to flourish across schools,” said Duncan Peard.

“Our students very much enjoyed the learning provided by the Red Hill Environmental Education Centre and Central Tablelands Local Land Services staff.”

“The hands on activities were great at enhancing the students learning and the Water Watch program lent itself perfectly to our unit of work on Living Things. We are now planning to implement an annual Small Schools Water Watch Day to practice the skills we’ve learnt and to track the water quality over a period of time,” said Belinda Greer.

For more information about the Water Watch program for primary and secondary students contact Bruce Christie at the Mudgee office Central Tablelands Local Land Services on: 02 6378 1712, or check out the Water Watch website

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439 608370