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Kent School Students Use Chesapeake Bay Tributary as Classroom

In mid-September Emily Harris, Watershed Coordinator of the Chester River Association, visited Kent School to train and certify Grade 8 students to become Chester Testers. Kent School’s Grade 8 students will be responsible for testing and reporting on water quality samples they take from the Urieville Lake Branch. Ms. Harris explained the role of the Chester River Association and its part in monitoring the health of the Chester River. After the overview, the students were trained to test for dissolved oxygen, nitrates, nutrients, phosphorous and turbidity. Students also discussed the potential cause and effects of imbalances in the water they test.

The students will travel to and test water samples at Urieville Lake Branch once a month starting in October. Their findings will help determine the Water Quality Index and the Chester River Report Card.

Hannah Richardson, Middle School Science Teacher at Kent School said, “I believe that the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries can provide an excellent outdoor classroom. I am excited to deepen Kent School’s nationally recognized Chesapeake Bay Studies program within the Middle School science curriculum. I plan to intentionally incorporate more Bay Studies experiences and learning opportunities into our earth science, life science and physical science curricula. We are so fortunate to have the Chester River in our backyard. Why not use it as an extension of our classroom?”

Michelle Duke, Assistant Head of School for Academics said, “The Bay Studies program at Kent School is unique in its in-depth, hands-on teaching opportunities. Our students from Preschool through Grade 8 engage in meaningful classroom and field experiences. It is gratifying and rewarding to see our students learn through, and with, nature.”

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