WATER WATCHEL MORRO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FIFTH GRADERS BECOME WALKING WATER SENSORS IN A
SPECIAL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT AT THE NEW BERNS ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY LOOP.
A primary focus for the new Berns Environmental Study Loop involves citizen science—including the scientific investigation of water in Moro Canyon. A UCI doctoral student in the school of education, Jennifer Long is also a longtime CCA associate and took a special interest in how to model water within an ecosystem through the use of citizen scientists. She set out to find ways that CCA can engage El Morro fifth graders in a university research project, extending their formal classroom education to Crystal Cove State Park.
Making a Difference
Through the initiative she developed in conjunction with CCA and UCI, fifth graders from the elementary school are becoming walking water sensors—using sensitive instruments throughout the canyon—to measure water in all its forms and learning how to see the park as a living system. They play a valuable role in UCI’s research as they collect data on how water moves through Moro Canyon and upload their findings to a massive online study.
This project is part of CCA’s effort to elevate the student experience at Crystal Cove to address the rigorous new California Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. It’s also a part of UCI’s Cal Teach program, which recruits undergraduate math and science majors to prepare them for a career in teaching. The study of water is important, and CCA members and the general public will be invited to participate in the March campaign “snapshotWATER,” where we invite the entire community to participate via social media by capturing clouds, streams, ocean waves, drew drops and erosion through photography (#snapshotWATER).