Teachers at Mason Junior High were recently awarded a Rural Teacher Grant through the LCRA. These funds will be used for a program called Rural Water WRITES, allowing students to explore water issues across Texas and specifically Mason County. Science, math, language arts and social studies will be covered by this program.
As part of this program, the Hickory UWCD is providing instruction and the use of equipment to Patti Harris' 8th grade science classes. The students are learning to collect water samples and test for a series of constituents and bacteria. In order to test for sulfates, nitrates and iron, the students will use a spectrophotometer. This instrument is designed to detect the amount of radiant light energy absorbed by molecules. Basically, it projects a light beam through a sample vial and registers the amount of a particular molecule in the sample. The class is also incubating sample vials to test for coliform and E. Coli. PH, chlorides, and total dissolved solvents are also subject to analysis.
Once a collection is sampled and status is determined, the class will write letters to landowners, informing them of the test results. The District is very excited about this project because it not only exposes students to water issues, but also provides a valuable service to Mason County residents.