Summer Watershed Research Camp to Begin at UHD Next Week
In 2013, UHD was awarded a two-year, $100,000 grant to train high school teachers and students in meaningful watershed experiences through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA). The funds were used to establish the Watershed Wonder Environmental Camp, an interactive environmental laboratory for area high school students in Houston ISD and CyFair ISD, as well as charter school partners Harmony Schools Charter ISD and George I. Sanchez Charter School. Two one-week camps, which will be offered during the 2014 and 2015 summer sessions, will bring up to 60 students and 20 secondary science teachers to campus to research the health and environmental needs of the many watersheds in Greater Houston's 13-county region.
This 2014 camp is scheduled to run July 7-11, 2014. Participants will work in teams to conduct research involving watersheds using Buffalo Bayou and other campus-relevant watersheds/bayous as field labs to collect environmental data. Co-principle investigators Brad Hoge, Mian Jiang and Poonam Gulati will guide the research efforts through their expertise in environmental studies, microbiology and chemistry. Co-principle investigator Jon Aoki and principle investigator Mary Parker will assist the research teams as they develop curriculum for use in high school classrooms in the fall.
Curricular lessons will be made available to the Greater Houston teaching audience through links to HUNSTEM, a portal for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in Houston directed by Hoge. UHD Scholars Academy undergraduates will also provide peer research leadership as part of this project. The project will evaluate levels of knowledge, skills and attitudes associated with environmental literacy and meaningful understanding of the connections of local environmental data to regional and national data.
Each campus sending a teacher received almost $1,000 in Vernier probeware equipment, enabling ongoing application of real-time data collections long after the summer research camp experience at UHD.
For more information about the grant, click here.
Associate Professor Brad Hoge works with teachers near th bayou during a training session in 2013.
Associate Professor Mian Jiang at work in the chemistry lab.