From left to right, Yolanda Xuan Guan, Coco Keyi Huang, Odett Xiaomeng Ni and Michael Zihan Shao, all 2+2 students in a partnership with Anhui Normal University in China, work together to examine a sample while testing the water quality on Lake Lanier. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
From left to right, Yolanda Xuan Guan, Coco Keyi Huang, Odett Xiaomeng Ni and Michael Zihan Shao, all 2+2 students in a partnership with Anhui Normal University in China, work together to examine a sample while testing the water quality on Lake Lanier. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Science Education Students Get Field Experience Testing Water Quality at Lake Lanier

Oct. 30, 2017
Kristen Bowman

The proximity of Brenau University’s Gainesville campus to nearby Lake Lanier, the largest lake in the state with nearly 700 miles of shoreline, provides endless learning opportunities for students.

Karen Henman, associate professor of science education, took advantage of this opportunity during the fall semester when she took her PS105, or science concepts, class to Aqualand Marina on Lake Lanier for a lesson in water quality.

“We tested for the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water,” Henman said. “We looked at the turbidity, ad we measured the pH of the water, the water temperature, and the amount of nitrates, phosphates and things like that in the water.”

Karen Henmen, associate professor of science education, and Odett Xiaomeng Ni talk after students tested the water quality on Lake Lanier for a science concepts course. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Karen Henmen, associate professor of science education, and Odett Xiaomeng Ni, a student in the 2+2 program with Anhui Normal University in China, talk after students tested the water quality on Lake Lanier for a science concepts course in partnership with the Chattahoochee Riverkeepers. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Henman partnered with Chattahoochee Riverkeepers, which provided a boat at the marina, and with Elachee Nature Science Center, which provided personnel who conduct water testing.

Science concepts is a comprehensive examination of the basic physical, earth and life science principles and concepts taught in the preschool to eighth-grade school curricula. The class was an important lesson for the science education students, who might otherwise only learn about the theory of water quality.

“I consider it field experience for them, to actually do hands-on water testing,” Henman said. “You can talk about dissolved oxygen and that kind of thing, but how do you measure it? This gave them the opportunity to really see how we measure those parameters of water quality.”

 

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