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Omaha School Updates Science/Math Equipment with $20,546 Grant - Forms Student Stream Team
October 2002

Omaha School Forms Stream Team
Omaha School Forms Stream Team
Students at Omaha High School are forming a Stream Team to monitor Bear Creek this year as a project of the math and science departments and a part of their Omaha High School Water Quality Program, funded by a grant from the South Shore Foundation at Flippin. From left are advanced math and science teacher Donna Macri, Superintendent David Land, and two Stream Team members, Jesse Courtney in waders and Lacey LeBleu.

OMAHA, Ark. – Students in this rural school near both Bull Shoals Lake and sprawling Branson, Mo., have a new project that applies science and math to monitoring the water quality in area streams.

Omaha School has new scientific and computer equipment financed by a $20,546 grant from South Shore Foundation at Flippin, including gear like rubber waders for venturing into the stream to take water samples. Such financial help is available to the Omaha Public School because it is within the telephone service area of NATCO, which set up the South Shore Foundation five years ago. The foundation is now targeting educational advancement and environmental preservation projects, which are parts of their mission statement.

Donna Macri and Brenda Blackmon are the teachers involved with turning some high school science and math courses into an application-based environmental program. In seeking the grant, Macri said, "We would like to create the Omaha High School Water Quality Program...an integrated cooperative learning experience for both science and math students." The school is in its third year of a five-year plan to improve the science and math education of Omaha students K-12, Macri said.

The grant covers purchase of five personal computers, one laptop computer, a global positioning system, an Arkansas Game & Fish lecture program and instruction in field work, equipment such as waders, nets, specimen jars, acid rain study kit, soil study kit, various identification books for birds, plants, and insects, and other items.

Learning Through Doing
Learning Through Doing
Among the first students taking part in the new Omaha High School Water Quality Program are: (from left in background) Naomi Ellis and Crystal Cheek with science teacher Brenda Blackmon, and (from left in foreground) Keshia Koehn and Jessikah Mott with the new GPS system. To begin the project, which includes updated computer equipment, stream sampling gear, and classroom scientific kits for an aqua-ponics system and a fish farm, the school received a $20,546 grant from the South Shore Foundation.

 

The students will make up a Stream Team under the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission’s sponsorship. Stream Teams are volunteers who adopt a stream to monitor, clean up litter, work on stabilization, or improve fish habitat. It is a program of river, stream, and watershed conservation. Omaha students plan to monitor Bear Creek near Point 34 of Bull Shoals Lake. As students gather data to become part of the AG&FC database, their work with the database requirements will provide math practice. Science teachers said students could also study the local streams as to their chemical, zoological and botanical features.

"We would also like to instill an environmental conscience in our students by allowing them to actually see and monitor the effects we have on our natural resources," Macri said.

High school classes taking part in the environmental program include environmental and physical science, biology, algebra, advanced math, chemistry, principles of technology, and physics.

"Students learn and remember so much more anytime we can relate science and math concepts to real life applications," said Macri. Additional materials to be used in the classroom include an aqua-ponics system, a fish farm, and an enviro-tank kit.

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 1-800-775-6682.
 

 
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