Sep 16th, 2013
LAKE WALES – A group of eighth grade scientists logged plenty of data for World Water Monitoring Day when Bok Academy’s floating classroom took its first student expedition across Crooked Lake on Friday (Sept. 13).
The 20 students in teacher Lita O’Neill’s first period class collected water samples from one of the deepest spots on Crooked Lake. They tested the water’s temperature, clarity, and chemical balance. They also tested outside air temperature, and made notes about wind speed, direction and recent rain. Two seventh grade photographers from the Yearbook Class, and several adults joined the trip.
Students worked in teams to collect and record data, which was transferred into iPads that were part of a micro-network on the boat. Later, O’Neill planned to upload the data to WorldWaterMonitoringDay.org.
The World Water Monitoring Challenge is an international education and outreach program that builds awareness about protecting water resources by encouraging citizens to conduct basic testing on local water bodies. Last year, participants in 66 countries participated in the challenge.
Students wore life jackets while the boat was moving, but they were allowed to remove the jackets while the boat was stopped. Students at Bok Academy are required to complete a swim test to participate in water activities. The boat currently is reached by wading through shallow water, or via a floating platform, but the school hopes to build a dock soon to more easily access the boat.
The Bok Academy floating classroom is a fully equipped and functional pontoon boat able to comfortably accommodate more than 20 middle school students and several teachers or adult volunteers. The construction by Trident Pontoons of Tavares was underwritten by contributions, including major gifts from The Defenders of