Conducting Hands-On Research

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Students in Eric Matwey’s Science Research 9-10 class at Rocky Point High School applied what they are learning in the classroom to the real world in a hands-on research project at Sunken Meadow State Park.

To prepare for the visit, the students met with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation representatives Cassandra Bauer and Victoria O’Neill to review and discuss the environmental testing procedures they would follow.

At Sunken Meadow, they conducted water quality tests to sample specific sites for a variety of plant and animal life. They were able to seine for organisms, including Asian shore crabs, and took readings of water temperature, turbidity, salinity, pH, nitrogen and dissolved oxygen. They then recorded the information about the collected data for further analysis in the classroom.
The visit was part of a program sponsored by the Long Island Sound Study, which seeks to collect valuable data about the body of water at various locations. The students’ work will provide important information about Sunken Meadow State Park and allow researchers to identify and describe how ecosystems change and how they can be impacted by weather events such as Superstorm Sandy.