PHS students test waters of Glenbeulah Mill Pond

by Maja Holcomb Plymouth High School student


PLYMOUTH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT Sam Brown jigs at the Glenbeulah Mill Pond. He cut 10 holes for fishing and water testing for his Natural Science and Composition classmates, and also set up a shelter on the ice. — Submitted photo PLYMOUTH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT Sam Brown jigs at the Glenbeulah Mill Pond. He cut 10 holes for fishing and water testing for his Natural Science and Composition classmates, and also set up a shelter on the ice. — Submitted photo It’s more than textbooks and quizzes in Plymouth High School’s new course, Natural Science and Composition. In fact, this course encourages students to learn from the world around them by using nature as a teaching tool. Co-taught by Sarah Maki and Jenny Loehr, this class invites students to think in creative ways to solidify their learning.

In a recent fieldtrip to Glenbeulah Mill Pond, the class used a common past-time in Wisconsin to continue learning about water quality. Students went ice fishing Feb. 4 at the Glenbeulah Mill Pond. Two students, Sam Brown and Justin Erickson, organized materials and set up the equipment early in the morning before the remainder of the class came out to the ice.

“Since there was a bait shortage at Squirmin’ Worm Bait Shop, we had to get bait from Fleet Farm. But, we got the bait in time to have our equipment set up by 7:30 that morning,” said Sam Brown, a PHS senior. Thanks to Brown and Erickson, the class was able to set up nine tip-ups and three jig holes to catch fish.

However, the holes cut in the ice to fish were not only used for fishing but also to test the water under the 14-inch thick ice. Tests such as turbidity (the cloudiness of the water), pH levels (acidity of the water), temperatures, nitrate and phosphate levels, fecal coliform bacteria levels, and many more were conducted on the pond. Students analyzed the resulting data in the days following the fieldtrip by comparing those results to the results of the same tests performed on the school pond in October 2013.

Though some students had experience with ice fishing, not everyone in the class did. “It was a new and fun experience for me and I am really glad I could go,” said Jennie Krusiec, a PHS senior in the class. “I have always wanted to go ice fishing, and this class gave me that opportunity.”


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