Environmental students share water quality findings with radio station


Photo provided by Chris Skowronski.

By Caitlin Bush and Katelynn Mulder

Six students involved in the AP Environmental Science field trip on Friday, Oct. 16 to Metro Beach were asked to create a presentation about their findings. After they presented it on Oct. 27 at the War Memorial, 101.9 WDET radio proceeded to ask them on-air questions.

“By having students discuss science issues with professional journalists, they can see more merit and purpose in their work,” science teacher Chris Skowronski said via email.

The purpose of the annual field trip is for the students to get a better understanding of nature and the quality of the water around them. For Skowronski, the most prominent part of the trip is when students get to conduct their own water tests on the lake. This year they also shared their results with the HEART Center (Huron to Erie Alliance for Research and Training) and WDET.

“Student groups looked at dissolved oxygen, nitrates, phosphates, fecal coliform, among other tests to see if our data matched the research at the HEART Center,” Skowronski said.

Photo provided by Chris Skowronski.
Photo provided by Chris Skowronski.

The students enjoyed the trip due to the nice weather and the many learning opportunities Metro Beach had to offer.

“I liked the nature walk because I liked seeing all the birds and the animals and hearing about how the ecosystem was improving with the native species coming back,” senior Emily Brown-Baker said.

After the field trip, Skowronski assigned six students to create a free, public presentation called “Our Environment, Our Water Ways” to educate people who are interested about (Lake St. Clair’s) water quality.

“I have worked diligently for a way to share our water quality results and this is a great platform to do so,” Skowronski said. “Everyone in this region needs to be aware of the issue of water quality, since it is so central to all of our lives.”

WDET questioned the students about the results they discovered after they presented. Senior Audrey Ajlouni was nervous about the situation but loved how people from around the community showed an interest in the topic.

“I didn’t know people were that into all stuff because like 100 people or so came out just to hear about where we are and not (just) everyone from Grosse Pointe who swims in this lake,” Ajlouni said. “It was cool that everyone else came out to hear all about it.”

Photo provided by Chris Skowronski.
Photo provided by Chris Skowronski.

Skowronski appreciates the radio reaching out to them because it’s a great learning opportunity and he hopes the interview will continue over the years.

“We are doing real inquiry, getting real results, in real time,” Skowronski said. “That is what science is all about.”