North Hills School District News Article

Students attend environmental science symposium at Allegheny College

Posted Sunday, May 5, 2024

North Hills High School students took part in the 2024 Creek Connections Student Research Symposium at Allegheny College in Meadville on April 19.

Students presented their research projects, networked with environmental organizations and participated in a focus group activity. Research projects included looking at the composting rates of various single-use disposable forks (Sydney Burkhardt), investigating consumers buying habits of processed vs organic/local food (Olivia Miller), respiration rates of two different mushrooms/decomposers (Hayden Weidner), NO2 emissions from a hybrid/EV vehicle when driven in different power modes (Bethany Osmond and Julia Weidner) and an informational poster on microplastics (Laura Sibomana).

Sammi McAtee and Ava McElhany also gave an oral presentation on their research project looking at microplastics released from four types of synthetic fabrics during laundering. These students then participated in a focus group activity with Dr. Kelly Pearce looking at the diets of local river otters. Students learned to identify fish species by looking at fish scales found in the scat of river otters. They then quantitated the various fish in the river otter's diet.

Overall, the students had a great experience! They learned how to perform research throughout the year and present it in a formal setting, met with various people working in environmental fields and experienced lab work in an actual research project at Allegheny College.

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