Headland Elementary School’s fourth-grade students participated in a field trip last week. However, this field trip was very different from most.
Students filled the buses, not to visit the pumpkin patch or petting zoo, but to study how the environment affects the water supply through the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative Program (AMSTI).
“Headland Elementary School is part of the AMSTI Program,” said Dennis Adams, AMSTI science specialist. “Today, these students will participate in several steps which will allow them to see first-hand how the environment and the water sources are connected.”
Students in attendance were divided into groups. Each group performed several tests, such as measuring the turbidity/temperature of the air and water, the GPS/compass test, measuring the distance from the shore to the water line and taking notes of the cloud coverage.
“This program has several benefits,” said Lynn Vaughn, AMSTI research specialist for the state of Alabama. “This particular exercise will allow students to see first-hand how much water is located in the area. They can also see how, over time, depending on the rain source, how the water has affected the shore line. They also learn how they take care of the environment and how others take care of the environment affects the water source and what lives in the water. Then, at the end of the tests and the exercise is completed, the results from the water site located here at the Wiregrass Substation will then be entered into a global data base.
“It is an amazing exercise that benefits so many. We are all connected globally, and what affects one area will, overtime, affect another area. So, these students are learning how everything is connected by using their math and science skills. Hopefully, this exercise will also teach the students to understand and want to take better care of the land and water sources we have available.”
Once the results are calculated from the exercise performed on the water source located at the Wiregrass Substation, those results will be entered into the GLOBE.gov website. This will give more than 200 scientists access to the data across the world.
“This is a great program,” said Natalie Wright, HES teacher. “This program allows students to get a break from their everyday book learning and receive hands-on-experience learning. This program today allowed the students to put the pieces of the puzzle together. It really is amazing, and I believe every student who participated now has a better understanding how everything comes together.”
For more information on the programs available to schools who participate in the AMSTI Program, visit www.amsti.org.