Project 1: Project Rivers

Logo General Information
Project Overview
Curriculum Connections
Learning Outcomes
Resource Connections

  General Information

Lead Teachers:Miss Patricia O'Brien - (Lead Teacher)

Miss Marilyn McGrath - (Assistant)

Sister Jean Whalen - (Assistant)

Grade Level:Grade 9
Number of Students:28
Project Start and Finish Dates:April - June, 1997

  Project Overview

Students from one of the Grade 9 classes at St. Patrick's will try to determine the water quality of two regions of the Waterford River which run through the downtown area of St. John's. The areas will include one near a now unused railway station as well as a source in a park. By using several biological indicators such as type and abundance of flora and fauna of the river, students will try to determine the water quality. Along with biological indicators students will measure the pH levels, oxygen content, temperature of the test area, and phosphate presence. It is hoped that from this information along with other abiotic factors such as industry, and chemical leaching that the students will determine the water quality in the test areas and the possible impact on the river system. Students will add to the data base already posted and make comparisons.

  Curriculum Connections

The science textbook Science Directions 9 uses an activity based approach in the belief that through "hands on" students will not only learn but retain the relevant information. This particular topic integrates well with the Environmental Quality unit of the curriculum as well as serving for the basis of the independent study project required as part of the core curriculum.


As the students will not only have to write a report but will have to present both orally and visually their findings to others, it fits in with the public speaking aspect of our Language Arts program.

  Learning Outcomes

  1. observe, collect and record data; predict from data; identify patterns, trends and simple relationships represented by data.
  2. use scientific knowledge, cognitive and technical skills to investigate the natural world, to solve problems and make informed decisions.
  3. conclude that proper management of our natural resources is essential and make some personal decisions regarding the proper management of natural resources.
  4. describe how human activity affects the global environment and depletes natural resources.
  5. recognize the importance of keeping accurate scientific records.
  6. recognize that technology is essential to science for many reasons such as communication, data collecting and storage.

These outcomes are tied closely to the Provincial Curriculum Goals which include:

  1. addressing the 3 basic fields of study-physical, earth and life.
  2. exposing students to various cognitive, scientific and technological skills.
  3. demonstrating the connections among science, its application in technology and its implications for the environment and society.
  4. involving instructional strategies and materials which allow all learners to experience both challenge and success.

This project is curriculum focused and the General Curriculum Outcomes for Technology Education are widely addressed. Through the use of computers and the Stellar Internet connection students will come to understand that computers have become invaluable in science because they speed up and extend people's ability to collect, store, compile, and analyze data, prepare research reports and share data and findings on a local, regional, and global level. Students will be involved in a collaborative on-line activity. This project will enable students to become part of the technological evolution rather than passive receivers.

  Resource Connections

Access to the Stellar Schools Internet connection will enhance this project by enabling the students to post their information on the Internet and compare their results with similar projects of other students on the local, regional. and global level. It will allow students to use high speed cable access to the latest in communication technology. It will enable students to become involved in a collaborative on-line activity and add to a data base already set up. Having Internet access available through Windows NT server would bring a new emphasis to students' learning activities and to our computer lab (LAN).

Other Resources:

  1. computer lab (16 LAN)
  2. library computer-multimedia CD Rom
  3. science lab
  4. Grade 9 Science textbook(Unit 5 & 6)
  5. on the site activities

Outside Resources:

A Digital Video Camera(video clips) /or Digital Still Camera(still photos)


  1. each group will keep a record of collected data.
  2. Teachers will monitor individual lab work / group work.
  3. Groups will present their lists of personal decisions regarding the proper management of natural resources based on their investigations and findings.
  4. Students will make presentations of their projects to other classes in our school.
  5. Each group will present a final single collaborative document that reflects the input of all individual students.
  6. Students will conduct a simulated public hearing on the issue of a community's water quality as suggested in unit 6 of the textbook.
  7. To share this project with all staff and students each group will do a corridor wall display of their investigations and findings and personal input.

Project such as this, using the new technology, will bring a new interest and emphasis to students' learning activities.

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