Connecting Urban Students with their Rivers Generates Interest and Skills in the Geosciences
Suzanne O’Connell, Joseph Ortiz, Janet Morrison Nov. 2004 Journal of Geoscience Education Volume 52, Number 5, p. 462-471

Abstract - Two different enrichment programs for urban high school students from the Greater Hartford Area of Connecticut were conducted during the summer of 2002. They were designed to expose students entering the tenth grade to Earth Science as a problem solving science in a challenging and supportive atmosphere. This was done by focusing on understanding watersheds and water quality using primarily chemical techniques on samples collected from the Connecticut River, it’s two Hartford area tributaries (the Hockanum and Park Rivers) and coves and ponds adjacent to or feeding into these rivers. Students worked in groups of one to three and all gave presentations of their results (data and interpretation) on the last day. Student faculty ratios that did not exceed three to one provided close supervision and individual attention.

The majority of the students found the programs a positive experience. Students stated that they had developed a greater appreciation for science, the rivers in the Hartford area, and the issue of pollution and how it relates to them. The majority indicated that the program would help them in subsequent science classes and that they would like to continue to participate in the program the following year. All of the students said they would recommend the program to another student interested in science.

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Subject: Geoscience:Hydrology:Surface Water:Water Quality/Chemistry , Education, Environmental Science:Water Quality and Quantity:Surface Water , Environmental Science:Water Quality and Quantity
Resource Type: Pedagogic Resources:Research Results, Pedagogic Resources, Activities:Field Activity:Research experiences for students, Field laboratories, Journal Article
Special Interest: Field-Based Teaching and Learning
Research on Learning: Geoscience Expertise, Affective Domain:Learning Environments, Ways Of Learning:In the Field, Instructional Design:Incorporating Research Experiences