Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Environmental Day for HSAP families

With snow on the ground on April 4, the Atlantic HSAP families met at Troy and Monica Taylor's house for our environmental day.   

Dan Olson from the Iowa DNR, who is also a homeschool father, brought the stream trailer and talked to us about erosion, some of the things that cause pollution in Iowa's streams/rivers, and how to clean oil/gasoline from waterways.

The stream trailer, pictured above, gives students a great illustration of what happens when no erosion controls are in place.  One side has no controls in place, while the other side of the trailer is lined with rocks and has been contoured to wind like a snake to help control erosion.  We were able to see very quickly as a faucet fed water down each waterway what the effects are in both streams.  The  "sand" that you see is actually cafeteria lunch trays that have been taken out of service and ground up.  

This tube gave us a small scale illustration of how the DNR goes about cleaning oil/gasoline from Iowa's waterways.   The first dam is a traditional dam which allows the oil to flow over the top because it's unable to hold back the force of the stream.  The second dam, which is closest to you in the picture, has straws in the bottom of it.  This allows the clean water to flow through at the bottom of the stream while stopping the oil from passing on the surface.

A big thank you to Dan Olson for spending the morning with and sharing with us many things about his job.  Another big thank you to Troy and Monica Taylor for allowing us to use their garage because of the extreme weather conditions.

We have had so many great experiences together this year.  I am thankful for each and every family who is involved in the Atlantic HSAP.  Your children are so amazingly creative and we have enjoyed seeing and hearing their ideas!

We look forward to one more field trip together on May 2 as we head to the Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines!