Local High School Students Gather Scientific Research
Students from three local high schools have teamed up with real world scientists to help with their research. On Tuesday, they presented their findings at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor.”Why do busy work when you can have the students jump into real science?” said Sarah Wilder, biology teacher at John Bapst. Jumping into science is what these students have done. They’ve been helping out scientists at the University of Maine with research on mercury levels in local watersheds. Students from Bangor High, Old Town High, and John Bapst Memorial collected materials and data for research being done by Doctor Sarah Nelson.”It’s kind of clever of the scientists to get the high school kids to get all the data and put it on the data sheet,” said Brad Arthurs, a student who participated in the project. “She has high school students going out, collecting all the insects, following her procedures and what ends up happening is we have a huge data set now that’s very usable,” said Wilder. The huge amount of data was made possible by these students from different schools working together. The students were able to use all of that data in their findings.”If it was just our high school, we wouldn’t have that much data but other high schools went to a lot of other streams and stuff so we got to see whether the environment affected it,” said Abby Pyne, student at John Bapst Memorial.What they gathered was analyzed for its mercury content, then given back to the students so they could determine results. Now they’re able to present their findings, but this presentation isn’t the last time the data will be used. It will be put into Doctor Nelson’s larger data set to be analyzed further at UMaine.”Our students have already looked at the data and they found some very interesting results and so she’s going to be able to go back and look at those in more depth,” said Wilder. The purpose of all of this is to create a better idea of mercury levels in freshwater all across the Northeast.