On Thursday, June 6, Hurricane Island Foundation staff visited Islesboro for Science Night, an annual school-wide celebration and presentation of long-term science projects that students participated in during the past year. The event featured arena-style presentations by 7th and 8th grade students of prototype inventions they designed, poster presentations by 5th and 6th grades about experiments they had conducted, a poster series by 11th and 12th graders on the Energy for Me audit of Isleboro Central School, and finally, a public presentation from the 9th and 10th graders “2013 Study of Possible Contamination Sources of Islesboro’s Fresh Water” to fellow students, visitors, and community members.
This presentation by the 9th and 10th graders was a synthesis of water quality data they collected during an April 22-26 field week, where students went out with their environmental science teacher, Heather Sinclair, our Science Educator, Alice Anderson, and Aaron Megquier, from the Isleboro Island’s Trust to collect water samples and analyze them for fecal coliforms, turbidity, and salinity. Students also spent time learning about some of the policy regulating septic systems and wells on the island. All of this informed their articulate presentation recommending that community members on Islesboro should be aware of the status of their septic systems and wells in order to prevent contamination to Islesboro’s sole-source aquifer.
The idea for this project on Islesboro evolved from a three-day trip that the students had on Hurricane Island last September. Students spent time learning about the water resources on Hurricane, including the sole-source aquifer, historic dug wells, and quarry. The course was framed around the question “how should Hurricane Island manage its water resources.” Students were able to build on the skills they learned on Hurricane to design and implement their field week on Islesboro.