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Education Corner: Franklin students participate in TVA Water Monitoring Program

FRANKLIN LIVING— Near the close of January, some Franklin County students participated in the Tennessee Valley Association’s Science Kids World Water Monitoring Project, sponsored by TVA and EarthEco.org.

Jess Wykoff, TVA Science Kids program director, reached out to me offering this free science program to our students, and I immediately informed schools of this wonderful STEM opportunity. The program is aligned with the fifthgrade science course of study; however, some of our fourthgrade science teachers were interested in having fourthgrade classes participate as well. More than 200 fourth and fifthgraders from Vina High School, Red Bay Elementary School, Tharptown Elementary School, Belgreen High School and Phil Campbell Elementary School participated in the program.

Samples of water were collected from local lakes, and with water testing kits provided by TVA, students tested those samples to determine pH levels, among many other components.

Students were educated on how people can have an effect on the quality of our natural resource of water. They also learned ways to protect the environment.

The school system received $800 in supplies, including classroom sets of test kits with instructional materials. Jess Wykoff said as students begin to dive into science and engineering practices, it is the TVA’s hope that the water quality lab will encourage students to learn in a hands-on and fun way. She also said all teachers and principals were accommodating and wonderful to work with, and the students were engaged and excited to participate in the experiments.

Franklin County Schools are grateful for this fun learning opportunity for our students, and we appreciate TVA’s Science Kids Program manager for inviting us to be a part of this educational experience. The program received rave reviews from participating teachers and students. It was a very engaging way to get our students involved in preserving our natural resources and making sure they are doing their part to protect our lakes.

Greg Hamilton is superintendent of Franklin County Schools. He and his wife Jessica have four children: Taylor, Carolyna, Dakota and Ty.

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