Teatown Environmental Science Academy
Teatown Lake Reservation is a private non-profit organization that specializes in environmental education for K-12 students. Their educational philosophy is to develop critical thinking skills in students by offering experiential programs that develop skills in natural history, and data collection and interpretation. In addition to formal education programs, Teatown offers a variety of informal educational opportunities to a diverse audience. The AquaFluor provided by Turner Designs was utilized in Teatown's Environmental Science Academy (TESA). The mission of this program is to provide high school students with hands-on experience with the techniques, tools, and technology ecologists use to study the environment. The educational curriculum of TESA focuses on the major components of environmental science: natural history; plant ecology, aquatic ecology, wildlife studies, and the scientific method.
A significant component of the program is the requirement that each student conduct an independent research project. Students develop their own research question, under the guidance of Teatown staff, and then design a study and data collection plan. The project culminates in a brief presentation at an end-of-course symposium. TESA has been a very successful program with many of the students continuing their research projects as part of their school's independent science research courses. A number of the TESA participants have presented their work at local and regional science fairs. The AquaFluor worked very well with students because it is sturdy and capable in the field. Moreover, this instrument is very easy to operate.
Author: Michael J Rubbo
Institution: Teatown Lake Reservation, Yorktown, Westchester County, NY, USA