Students study real life science applications |

Students study real life science applications

by Joyce Hollister, Staff Writer

Ever wonder what the water quality is in the Carson River?

Thanks to several donations, students studying science at Douglas High School are finding out and will issue a report in about a week.

Senior and junior students in a semester-long forensic science class collected samples of water at the old power dam site south of Gardnerville earlier this week, and on Thursday, they collected samples from the river behind DHS in Minden.

The idea, said science teachers Lyn Gorrindo and Twain Berg, is to compare the two samples.

“We can see what the water quality is before it hits town and when it gets here,” Gorrindo said.

The lab equipment needed for the project was made possible by grants from the Douglas County Education Foundation and the “school to careers” program offered through the state occupational education department.

“Without the equipment, we couldn’t have done it,” Berg said. “It costs thousands and thousands.”

The project is called an “integrated lab series,” and most of the work will be done in the science lab on Monday where students will run their tests on the samples they collected.

Only two tests, for temperature and oxygen levels, were done in the field.

After running their tests, the students will issue a report, similar to a report that the EPA would actually publish, Gorrindo said.

“They are really seeing a link between school and careers and environmental science and science outside the classroom,” Gorrindo said, “which I think is pretty exciting. The students are realizing the real life application of science.”

Students had to take biology and chemistry before they could sign up for the forensics class taught by Gorrindo.

Next semester, the students will be taking biotech science from Berg. The two are team-teaching this particular segment.

The Douglas County Education Foundation also granted money to purchase a digital camera to take photos during the project, but unfortunately, the camera hadn’t arrived in time.

Global positioning system (GPS) equipment used in the program was also made available through an occupational education grant, Berg said.