Hazen middle school students test water of Ethan Brook

UVM Ecologists Work with Hazen Middle School Students to Test Stream Health

Posted August 25, 2022

This past May, visiting ecologists from the UVM Watershed Alliance helped Hazen Middle School students research the health of Ethan Brook which flows directly behind the school and drains into the Lamoille River.

Science teachers Arne Hagman and Greg Hennemuth introduced their four middle school science classes as part of the ecology unit.

By performing macroinvertebrate community analysis - more simply put, identifying "bugs in the water" - the students helped determine that the brook was healthy. Mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies were present. Students attended four stations including chemical, biological, physical and a watershed function modeling station.

Hagman's classes followed the unit with an "Animal Creations" project whereby students developed a creature with special traits adapted to survive in a certain habitat. Hennemuth's classes developed energy flow pyramids using Ethan Brook's invertebrate community, demonstrating the constraints of the 1st Law of Thermodynamics: "Nothing is 100% efficient; in fact there is nothing that comes close!" At the top (4th trophic level) of the Ethan Brook energy pyramid, the class included the brook trout, as they netted one in the sampling!