The Robins have completed our chemical testing of the creek water. We sampled three different spots: by the big field, near the culvert; behind the fort area known to students as "Dragon Pearl" (a center-ish location in our woods), and behind the new white shed. We collected water temperature data at each spot, too. Then students worked in three groups to run three different tests on their sample. We tested for pH, nitrates, and phosphates. (You can see the chart of our results among the photos). The results were the same for all three samples, except for the temperature--one was several degrees colder. We discussed the possibility of error (someone read the thermometer incorrectly). The pH was neutral. The phosphate test came up with nothing--no detectable phosphates in the water. But the nitrate tests all showed an elevated level of nitrates. One student said that this matched with his observation that there was algae in the creek.
We ran out of time, so we haven't finished discussing our results. We will do that tomorrow. In the meantime, please check in with your Robin about their experience with this chemical testing.