December 14, 2017

Mercury Project 2016


Mercury Project 2016

    

February 5, 2016- The 6th Annual State Mercury Project presentation and poster session took place on Friday, January 8, 2016. A series of posters on the presence and effect of methylmercury in the environment was shared using research from four participating high schools: Hartford, Claremont, Pelham, and Woodstock. Science teacher, Meghan Wilson, is Hartford’s collaborative teacher-leader, who provides this opportunity to her Biology students each year.

The event was sponsored by Dr. Kate Buckman, who, as a member of Dr. Chen’s lab and the Dartmouth Superfund Research Program, works to understand the factors affecting bioaccumulation and and trophic transfer of mercury in estuarine organisms through both field and laboratory research. Participating students’ research directly affects her findings, as she can use their data in her own studies.

In this process, students visit local watersheds in the fall, collecting dragonfly larvae and proposing hypotheses. Their subsequent observations and corroborative research help to inform their findings and results. Some topics researched by Hartford students were:

-The Effect of Water Quality on Mercury Levels in Dragonflies

-Levels of Mercury in Fish up the Foodchain

-The Level of Methylmercury in Loons in Lakes and Rivers

-Rainfall Amount Effect on Methylmercury Levels

Keynote speaker, Rick Kendall, Superintendent of Marsh Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, was introduced by students from each participating school. A special interactive feature was added to the poster session this year: QR Code Readers. Viewers were invited to delve further into students’ research and findings by scanning a code on the posters.

Each year, kids marvel at “how much fun they had sharing their posters...with all these people I didn’t know!”

The whole event is an exciting process as one witnesses students realizing their capabilities and true potential as learners AND instructors as they share their findings with friends, family and foreigners.

   


-Alexis Nelson
nelsona@hartfordschools.net