Kaleidoscope involved in River Watch

For the past seven years, Paula Higgins and her seventh-grade students at Kaleidoscope Charter School in Otsego have participated in the River Watch program through Hennepin County and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
On Sept. 29, the seventh-graders headed to Rush Creek Site No. 4 in Maple Grove to collect macro-invertebrates, stream temperature, odor, velocity, width and depth information, rock embeddedness and rocky bottom data such as type of substrate.
A small group walked one-fourth of a mile in each direction from the stream to record what is happening in the neighborhood that might impact the stream water quality.
Once the data is collected in the field, the students head back to the classroom to work with dichotomous keys and microscopes to identify at least 100 macro-invertebrates.
Each macro-invertebrate has predetermined tolerance level for water pollution. By identifying the bugs, the students are then able to determine the quality of the water running through the testing location.
To view the fall results for Rush Creek testing site No. 4, visit Kaleidoscope’s website at www.kcsmn.org.