Holy Cross students study water pollution and take action in local waterways

July 29, 2019 at 12:37 p.m.
Holy Cross students study water pollution and take action in local waterways
Holy Cross students study water pollution and take action in local waterways


Sixth graders in Holy Cross School, Rumson, have been studying the effects of pollution on local estuaries. Their STEM-based laboratory program began with readings about estuary pollution in the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers. Students reinforced the content with their Discovery Education online curriculum, which teacher Michelle Tomaino supplemented with student-engineered laboratory experiments and a class trip to the New Jersey School of Conservation. The project culminated in environmental action on their local beach.

During their lab time, students added various potential pollutants to Shrewsbury River estuary samples and documented the characteristics, speed and severity with which the pollutants affected the water, plant and organism health. They found that motor oil and fertilizer had the most extreme effect, with bleach and soot having slightly less effect. Sixth grader Devyn Gwydir explained the implications of these results. “It is not good for animals and the sea. From the beaches, there is run-off to the water, so pollutants from one place continue to affect places further and further away.”

To put their learning into practice, the student council, led by Kim Clauss, and sixth grade teacher,  Maryjane Gallo, were invited to participate in the Oct. 21st Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweep in Sea Bright.  

Sixth graders Olivia Raymond and Alexis Marchakitus spent the morning at the Beach Sweep and were surprised to count roughly 500 pieces of garbage in their shared bag.

“Certain things don’t biodegrade, so they can harm beaches more than other things,” Raymond said. Marchakitus added, “The garbage on the beach can harm a lot of animals, such as turtles and seals, that think it is food.”

 

 

 

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Sixth graders in Holy Cross School, Rumson, have been studying the effects of pollution on local estuaries. Their STEM-based laboratory program began with readings about estuary pollution in the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers. Students reinforced the content with their Discovery Education online curriculum, which teacher Michelle Tomaino supplemented with student-engineered laboratory experiments and a class trip to the New Jersey School of Conservation. The project culminated in environmental action on their local beach.

During their lab time, students added various potential pollutants to Shrewsbury River estuary samples and documented the characteristics, speed and severity with which the pollutants affected the water, plant and organism health. They found that motor oil and fertilizer had the most extreme effect, with bleach and soot having slightly less effect. Sixth grader Devyn Gwydir explained the implications of these results. “It is not good for animals and the sea. From the beaches, there is run-off to the water, so pollutants from one place continue to affect places further and further away.”

To put their learning into practice, the student council, led by Kim Clauss, and sixth grade teacher,  Maryjane Gallo, were invited to participate in the Oct. 21st Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweep in Sea Bright.  

Sixth graders Olivia Raymond and Alexis Marchakitus spent the morning at the Beach Sweep and were surprised to count roughly 500 pieces of garbage in their shared bag.

“Certain things don’t biodegrade, so they can harm beaches more than other things,” Raymond said. Marchakitus added, “The garbage on the beach can harm a lot of animals, such as turtles and seals, that think it is food.”

 

 

 

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