Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blue Thumb

My newest professional goal for myself has really been to provide more exciting opportunities for students to have real and practical math and science experience, particularly for young women. Our media specialist at school heard about an organization that monitors streams and creeks in Oklahoma so the two of us along with two other nerds highly professional science and math teachers at our site went for a two day training in Norman with Blue Thumb.

Day 1 we spent the morning learning about Blue Thumb and what they do. They are a volunteer based monitoring group that preforms chemical, biological, and physical monitoring of streams and creeks in Oklahoma, providing reports and information to conservation groups around Oklahoma. They covered basic environmental observations and how to identify different standards for weather, wind, etc. at a site.

Then, despite the fact that it was freezing and there was about a 3/4 inch ice sheet covering Bishop Creek, we borrowed some of their waders and went out to learn about proper sample gathering procedures as well as setting a dissolved oxygen sample.

We didn’t have to climb over any rip-rap but did encounter some floating detritus (yay new vocab words!) It was frigid, but we still had a great time! Here’s me, rinsing our sample water container with creek water.


The next day was much warmer and spent in the lab learning all about the different chemical tests we will run on the creek near our school with our students. Can I just say, we enjoyed it so much, I may have to adopt my own creek site after a few months of the students working on this because I’m going to be jealous that they get to do all the work!

And after a some demonstrations using educational models we “graduated!”

I cannot wait until we get some photos and videos of us working with the kids and taking care of our own creek!

This is a great organization! They provide all the training and materials, so check out or