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Omaha Students Work on Water Quality Testing Project
January 2002

Students at Omaha High School are continuing a water well testing program funded by the Arkansas Department of Education ($10,000) and the South Shore Foundation ($6,300). The students have presented a report on the project to the South Shore Foundation trustees and will show their video and Power Point presentation to the National Conference of Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) in February at Little Rock. They will also report to the Omaha School Board at its March meeting.

Bill Dirst, EAST facilitator, said the students have tested more than 100 wells in Boone County. They began by researching area water quality, a part of which was to visit the county health department. They soon returned to the health department for training on water well testing and disinfecting. Water well testing was begun in the community and the students looked for funding to continue the project.

The South Shore Foundation at Flippin approved funding for the project because it deals with environmental preservation as well as education. Strengthening the grant request was the fact that students would be applying science and using technology to implement the project, both of which are items of importance to the South Shore Foundation.

Most of the well testing work was done during the summer months as the Omaha Water Ecology Summer Program and cannot be done when school is in session due to the amount of time required. However, students have created a training video to help homeowners who wish to test their wells.

Dirst said, "This project was student-driven from the beginning," adding that students are learning a great deal and enjoying being able to share their knowledge with the members of the community. They are still searching for answers on some results, he said.

Omaha students test water well quality

Students working on the project were: Malinda Duggan, Keshia Koehn, Anna Mendenhall, Becky Brondel, Naomi Ellis, David Duckworth II, Kari S. McGehee, Kayla Blevins, Grant Rivera and Brittany Thomas. Additional students were volunteers with the group. They are: Abby Ellis, Andrea Mysinger, Cody Underwood, Ruth Ellis, Jeremiah Ellis, Aaron Bowling, Jane Conway, Cassandra Seals and Jennie Garren.

South Shore Foundation is the charitable foundation of Northern Arkansas Telephone Company of Flippin, which awards grants to nonprofit agencies and communities to further the goals of educational advancement, environmental preservation, community betterment and economic development. NATCO President Steven G. Sanders also chairs the board of trustees of the foundation. For more information or to receive a grant application, call 870-453-3333.

 
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