During the last two weeks, Headwaters Science Institute worked with the entire TKA 7th grade to help students conduct their own independent scientific research. The highlight of this program was the Friday field trip to Alviso Marina County Park where students put their own experiments into action studying the salt marsh wetlands in the South San Francisco Bay. A big thank you to all the parent drivers who made this program possible and we hope to see you all at the science presentation night at TKA on Thursday the 17th.
We are very excited to share some of the creative research projects designed by the students at TKA. Read on to hear about a few of these great research projects!
Group 1: Raymond, Aarav, Emily, Elisee
Question: How do the chemicals in the polluted pond affect the number of insects around it?
Claim: There will be more insects at the non-polluted pond than the polluted pond. It may be harder for the insects to find food at the polluted pond.
Group 2: Nathan Leong, Daniel Lee, Joanna Lee
Question: How does the amount of salt in the water affect transparency?
Claim: That the saltwater would make the water less clear. We think that the dissolved salt would make the lake denser and less clear.
Group 3: Andrew Scharfy, Natalie Thwaites, Tega. Sebeni, Christopher Wang
Question: How do Savvanah sparrows affect the population of crustaceans, snails, and grass.
Claim: They keep the populations from sky rocketing. We think this is true because the sparrows eat the crustaceans, snails, and eat the grass seeds, which prevents them from overpopulation.
Group 4: Camila, Connor, Kevin, Libby
Question: How has the trash in the environment affected the water and the land around it?
Claim: The water will be polluted and some animals may not be able to survive there anymore. People leave trash on the streets and the trash can be transferred to the salt ponds. Then the trash brought by the current will be washed ashore and then pile up.
Group 5: Reid Black, Alex Mazin, Angelina Komashko, Jenine Fong
Question: How does the nearness to an active saltwater pond affect the amount of grass?
Claim: We think that the closer we go to the saltwater the less grass there will be. Because organisms can’t survive on salt.
Group 6: Sofia P., Caleb K., Brandon M., Italia A.
Question: How do the herbivores affect the plant population?
Claim: We think that with more herbivores there will be fewer plants and fewer herbivores should lead to more plants. We think our claim will be true because organisms that feed off each other are most likely to change over time.
Group 7: Hengrui, Kenneth, Morgan, Natalie
Question: How does the distance away from saltwater affect the height of the grass?
Claim: We think the further away grass is from saltwater, the taller the grass will be. This is because salt might decrease the quality of the water the plants use.
All of these TKA students have been working hard to graph and analyze the data they collected during their field day. Student pre and post-program surveys suggest that these projects help students gain valuable critical thinking skills. Between the start and end of the program students ability to correctly interpret complex graphs increased by 21% moreover, 97% of students report overcoming a challenge to complete their projects. All of us at Headwaters are excited to see their presentations on the evening of the 17th and hope to see you there as well.