Students Turn Local Park into a Lab - Branch Brook Lessons Provide Insights into Water Creatures

Newark middle-school children conducted a biological and chemical analysis of Branch Brook Park Lake under the guidance of Passaic River Institute director Kirk Barrett and professor Nicholas Smith-Sebasto from Montclair State University.

Part of the Passaic River Institute's two-week program in environmental science and computer technology, the program is designed to help children discover nature in and around their city and learn about the environmental infrastructure upon which urban life depends.

Each day, the Montclair State professors and staff lead the children on field trips that also include an eco-boat tour of the Hackensack River, a water analysis of the upper Passaic River, tours of a sewage treatment plant, a drinking water reservoir and more. Each day also includes a computer lab session at Montclair State where the children use computers to analyze, graph, and present their findings and observations. The program is made possible by grants from the Victoria Foundation, BMW of North America, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the Landsberger Family Foundation.

Read the full story from the Star Ledger.