BFA High School Science Team Completes Summer Research Training

Target 3 – Flexible Learning Environments. FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.

Action Step – Develop opportunities for students to collaborate, innovate, create and conceptualize in all learning settings.

Indicator of Success – Students are engaged in answering authentic questions and solving problems in collaborative settings.

BFA High School juniors Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose and Science Teacher Thomas Lane attended a training in June at St. Michael’s College. Student/Teacher teams from Vermont as well as Delaware and Puerto Rico were in attendance. The training week was funded by a National Science Foundation grant, Vermont Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). During the weeklong training students worked in the field, laboratory and classroom to learn research methods, skills, and how a research team functions.

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BFA students Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee sort macrobenthic invertebrates in the laboratory at St. Michael’s College.

BFA students Sophie Lee (second from left) and Rebekah Larose along with other student/teacher teams tour Lake Champlain aboard the University of Vermont research vessel the Melosira.

BFA students Sophie Lee (second from left) and Rebekah Larose along with other student/teacher teams tour Lake Champlain aboard the University of Vermont research vessel the Melosira.

BFA students Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee (right center) along with students from Castleton, Harwood Union and Rice under the guidance of Katie Chang (CWDD Research Technician) measure water quality and stream velocity at Monroe Creek near Shelburne, VT.

BFA students Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee (right center) along with students from Castleton, Harwood Union and Rice under the guidance of Katie Chang (CWDD Research Technician) measure water quality and stream velocity at Monroe Creek near Shelburne, VT.

Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee measure stream velocity at Mill Brook by BFA campus using a vernier sensor.

Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee measure stream velocity at Mill Brook by BFA campus using a vernier sensor.

BFA students Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose deploy a HoboWare temperature sensor at Black Creek in North Fairfield.

BFA students Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose deploy a HoboWare temperature sensor at Black Creek in North Fairfield.

Over the next several months Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose will be collecting stream data on temperature, pH, stage, discharge, macrobenthic invertebrate populations and total suspended solids. They will be contributing to a database used by researchers from around the world, as well as trying to answer their own research questions regarding the relationship between phosphate in streams and sediment particle size. Science teacher Tom Lane will continue to support them in their work.

Sophie and Rebekah are taking advantage of flexible learning opportunities at BFA Fairfax. This is an example of just one way that students are engaged in collaborative problem solving, addressing authentic issues with scientists across the world to answer important questions about our environment. Their learning extended through the summer, and they are developing relationships that will support them in realizing their dreams.

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