To fully appreciate environmental challenges within the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the role of science in helping us understand and address these challenges, students and many teachers need, but often lack, firsthand experience applying science practices to investigate real-world locally-relevant environmental issues. Our Students Teachers And Researchers (STAR) Partners project is partnering western Maryland high school teachers and their students with Lab scientists to study nitrate pollution in rainwater and stormwater runoff within the context of their schoolyards. Teachers and students determine study design and collect water samples, Lab scientists process the samples using stable isotope analysis, and together all team members are interpreting the results and discussing next steps. Students share team findings at Lab Open Houses and at the annual Maryland Water Monitoring Council conference. Their efforts helped inspire a subsequent research grant, which has contributed to maintaining this outreach effort.
Funding: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (4 years, NA14NMF4570247)