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High School Students Develop Kits and Educate Public with Inexpensive, Remote Water Quality Monitoring Solution

In response to the need for cheaper and more widespread water quality monitoring in the Chesapeake Bay, teachers and students at the Dr. James A Forrest Career and Technology Center in Leonardtown, Maryland, are partnering with community volunteers to create inexpensive remote monitoring kits funded by a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “This project has the potential to change the way people relate to and care for the Bay,” Natural Resources Management (NRM) Teacher Dorothy Birch said. “Knowing more about the surface water around us and the pollution challenges we face to keep our water clean will encourage people to get more active in protecting our waters.” The kits, designed and assembled by volunteer Norm O’Foran with help from the school’s Engineering teacher and students, use microprocessor technology and cost about $800 each while comparable equipment sells for upwards of $20,000. They measure air temperature and humidity, water temperature at surface and bottom, dissolved oxygen, pH, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids, and salinity. Dubbed by students as Breton Observation Boxes (BOBs), several of the kits were placed in the Breton Bay watershed during student field trips in the last week of May. “I hope to see BOBs on docks […]

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