AP Environmental Science classes attend field trip

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AP Environmental Science classes attend field trip

Gisella Joma

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Senior Rumi Ito tests the concentration of carbon dioxide in pond water. Photo by Gisella Joma.


On Sept. 27 and Sept. 28 during block period, AP Environmental Science classes took a field trip to Blackberry Farm to learn how to identify different types of trees, understand soil composition and practice chemical testing using the combination of soil and water.

Students collected and observed soil samples from different trees and pushed them through multiple filters, separating the soil’s different levels of large and small gravel, silt, and clay. Each level came out finer and more compact than the other, allowing them to estimate the masses of each in relation to the soil collection as a whole.

“It was so cool learning about soil composition and seeing how the soil changed form as it sifted through the filters,” senior Melissa Chuang said.

The second part of the lab consisted of a bucket, rain boots and chemicals, which the students used to go to the creek and collect water. They then ran chemical tests in the water in order to figure out the types and concentrations of constituents present in the pond water.

“Students will become proficient in measuring indicators and realize the importance of public parks,”  APES and biology teacher Andrew Goldenkranz said.

Blackberry farm was chosen as an experiment location because of its proximity to school and its recent rehabilitation due to pollutants in the creek. The rehabilitation workers took out all the non-native plants and replanted native plants in an attempt to restore the environment to its natural habitat. When pollutants are thrown into the creek, they slowly begin to kill off key species; therefore, scientists began to feed the system to help it grow in an effort to repopulate the creek.

“The fact that we were able to get outside and out of the typical classroom environment was really fun,” senior Boson Wang said.

This field trip marks the first of many times that APES classes will visit Blackberry Farm.