The Grand River is a source of drinking water, a recreational water body, and the recipient of urban and agricultural wastewater. It is part of the largest watershed in southern Ontario and supports close to one million people.
The Aquatic Science Outreach Network for the Grand (AquaSONG) is an NSERC-funded program coordinated by Wilfrid Laurier University and the Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science. The primary purpose of this field trip is to inform and educate local high school students on the fragility of this local water body, encourage creative collaboration in a laboratory setting, teach basic field sampling techniques, and demonstrate methods of analysis. The experience is centred around the concepts of wastewater treatment and analysis, and freshwater aquatic biology.
The following information can be used by grade 10 and 11 high school teachers to plan for this experience.
For more information, or to participate in this project, contact Gena Braun.
During this full-day field trip, each participating high school group will either collect and analyze water and invertebrate samples or devise and test novel water filters. Field trips take place in the spring (April through June) and fall (September through November) each year with the specific activities depending on the time of year, weather, and preference of the participating class. Early spring and late fall sessions include filter building, invertebrate microscopy, an aquatic research facility tour, and laboratory analysis using hands on and automated techniques. Weather permitting, late spring and early fall sessions include water and invertebrate field sampling, invertebrate microscopy, an aquatic research facility tour, and laboratory analysis using hands on and automated techniques.
Registration for the spring session opens on the first Monday in January and closes on the first Friday in February. Registration for the fall session opens on the last Monday in June and closes on first Friday in September.
For more information, or to participate in this field trip, contact Gena Braun.
The field sampling experience will occur outside near a body of water. There are several inherent hazards:
The high school must provide an appropriate permission form to parents/ guardians indicating the hazards that may be encountered on this field trip.
The field and lab experience will include instruction in field and laboratory methods, but a basic understanding of some concepts is recommended and will improve the student experience. Some suggested background knowledge is as follows:
A positive and safe experience can only be obtained if all participants adhere to the following guidelines: