APES students travel around town to learn about environment

By Renata Terrazzan

Learning about how to clean water was the aim of a field trip undertaken by WLC’s AP Environmental Science classes on October 18.

This field trip is a new edition to the APES curriculum. Since Dr. Marykay Marks is now the APES teacher again, she decided to reinstall this as the first APES field trip. The places visited during the field trip went along perfectly with the material that the kids are learning so it seemed like an opportunity they could not miss. “Central students have been testing this stream since the 80’s so I think it’s important to keep up this ‘tradition’,” said Dr. Marks

They first visited the Wixom Sewage Plant where they got a tour from one of the managers. He took them through the water purifying process. First they toured the outside plant where the water is pumped up and it goes through the first round of cleansing. Then, they went inside the plant to see the last parts of the process, where chemicals are added to make the water healthy enough to put back into the river. “It was really interesting to see this process up close, I had no idea all that goes into it,” said junior Ky’Lie Garland.

Their next stop was about 15 minutes away at the Walled Lake Outdoor Education Center (OEC). Here they ate lunch in a clearing and got to take a little break and explore the area. Then it was back to work. The classes had been separated into teams of 4 or 5. Each team had a different combination of water tests to do on the stream. They also filled out a stream survey that showed the characteristics of the stream. Then, they collected a sample of the water filled with little insects for class the next day. “It smelled really bad when they brought it on the bus,” said senior Grace Berryman.

Their last stop was fairly similar to the OEC, except this stream was much larger, had faster water, and was more urbanized. Yet, they were in the same groups and had to take the same tests, run the same survey and take back a sample of water as well.

Once getting to school, the students had to clean up all their supplies and make sure all their experiments were in order. To finalize the learning, the students have a report due this week on the field trip and the water quality. “I considered this field trip a success with the weather and the fact that no one fell in, which has happened in previous years.,” says Dr. Marks.