BRONXVILLE, N.Y. - Bronxville Elementary School students are coming together as one as they continue their comprehensive districtwide research into the Bronx River and its surrounding areas.
Throughout the semester, Bronxville students have been donning their white lab coats as they've been busy collecting data from various local ecosystems, which then then brought back to the classroom to analyze in-depth.
According to the teachers coordinating the group project, the research is part of a districtwide curriculum that is “designed to incorporate the river into a variety of classes and disciplines, the students are gathering information to contribute to the district’s comprehensive study on the water quality of the Bronx River.”
As part of the project, first graders have been busy taking trips to Scout Field, where they studied varieties of plants and researched how different types of soil affected growth patterns by collecting samples and attempting to grow them on their own.
“We are growing plants of the same kind in store-bought potting soil and soil from Scout Field in our classrooms,” science teacher Susan Monaco said. “The students are going to observe the plants during the school year and use their findings to draw a conclusion.”
Fourth and fifth grade students got more scientific in their research. Fourth graders collected water samples from the Bronx River, which they then analyzed and conducted experiments on in the classroom. They then observed the microorganisms found in the water samples before evaporating the water to examine the residue. Meanwhile, fifth grade students looked into several different invasive pieces and tracked them over time.
“The ultimate goal is for us to help the Bronx River become a healthy watershed that can allow for multiple organisms to live and thrive,” science teacher Karen Green added. “The biggest benefit of this project is that students understand the role that the river plays in their community, how human population affects it and what actions they can take to make a difference.”