Restoration - is it working?
Students will work in teams to investigate an original research question related to restored and unrestored sections of Moore's Branch, a local stream. Students will observe and compare differences in riparian buffer zones, stream features (ex. percentage of riffles) stream bottoms, biodiversity, streamwater chemistry and turbidity of each stream section. They will then prepare a report that explores possible explanations for their results.

Students will plan and carry out an original research project comparing restored and unrestored sections of local streams. 
Kick nets, dip nets, ice cube trays, macroinvertebrate identification sheets, hand lenses, forceps, leaf packs

Equipment for monitoring stream chemistry:
Inexpensive version: Green Water Quality monitoring kits, ping-pong balls, timers
Expensive: Vernier probes: conductivity, dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature

Access to restored and unrestored sections of stream

Sample research questions
1. Take students out to the stream to perform basic water quality monitoring. This will familiarize students with the various procedures for each test that is available, and serves as an orientation to working in the stream.
2. Discuss the meaning of each test with the students.
3. Using what they have learned about urban streams and restoration, have students develop a research question to investigate similarities and differences between restored and unrestored sections of one or several streams.
(See attached sample research questions for ideas)
4. Instruct student groups to design a procedure for an experiment to gather data related to their research question. Provide feedback on the design of the experiments and have students submit their procedures for review before going into the field. Require that students'experiments include a minimum of four sampling sites.
5. Have students carry out their experiments and submit lab reports.
State Standards
1.2.1- The student will identify meaningful, answerable scientific questions.
1.2.2- The student will pose meaningful, answerable scientific questions.(NTB)
1.2.3- The student will formulate a working hypothesis.
1.2.4- The student will test a working hypothesis.(NTB)
1.2.5- The student will select appropriate instruments and materials to conduct an investigation.
1.2.6- The student will identify appropriate methods for conducting an investigation (independent and dependent variables, proper controls, repeat trials, appropriate sample size, etc.).
1.3.1- The student will develop and demonstrate skills in using lab and field equipment to perform investigative techniques.(NTB)
1.3.2- The student will recognize safe laboratory procedures.
2.5.1- The student will investigate various physical cycles found in the natural world.
4.1.1- The student will select and use appropriate devices to measure directly or indirectly the length, mass, volume, or temperature of a substance. AT LEAST: centigram balances, graduated cylinders & pipettes, metric rulers, thermometers & temperature probes
6.4.1- Identify an environmental issue and formulate related research questions. Methods of gathering information may include writing letters performing a literature search using the internet interviewing experts
6.4.2- Design and conduct the research. Methods of data collection may include field or laboratory questionnaire/opinionnaire
Lesson Resources