Water Symposium Held at Morgantown High
Student projects used samples from Deckers Creek
Morgantown Dominion Post
9 May 2012
By Alex Lang
Water quality research and bright, young scientists were on full
display at Morgantown High School this week.
Dozens of MHS students had the chance to show off research
projects to their classmates during a water symposium at the
school. All of the projects involved water from Deckers Creek.
Each of the school’s science classes made a stop by the library
for the symposium, said Carol Muniz, MHS’s technology integration
specialist. The students had forms to fill out, which asked for
information from each of the stations.
The stations were organized by classes such as AP Environmental
Science. Freshmen created posters on topics such as the effect of
pH (a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution) on grass
height, and acid mine drainage and pH.
The research was funded by a $10,000 grant from the Toyota
Tapestry. Muniz said the money went for probes to monitor water
conditions. About 900 students directly benefited from the grant.
The Friends of Deckers Creek also helped on the projects.
Seniors Josh Childs and Joanna Twist manned the first station and
gave students an overview of the projects.
Childs said the creek starts in Preston County, just outside of
Arthurdale. It cannot be used for swimming because the waterway
has become polluted by acid mine drainage.
“The water quality is poor in many places,” Childs said.
Overall, the research found that the creek is doing better than it
was a decade ago, Twist said. But there is still work to be done.
Sophomore Shruthi Sreekumar was studying while she waited for
students to come by her station. Her area showed off work done
through the EnvironMentors program, which paired WVU and MHS
students for research projects.
Her project looked at using bioswales to stop storm water from
entering the stream. A bioswale is a landscape element to help
remove problem materials from runoff water. Storm water can cause
problems for the stream through erosion and high levels of metals,
Sreekumar said she enjoyed participating in the research project
and would like to do it again next year.
“I think it’s great,” Sreekumar said. “It was a great experience.”