Volume 17 • Issue 22 | October 22 - 28, 2004

P.S. 3 students and a teacher test the pH of the Hudson River.

P.S. 3 students determine the Hudson is healthy

BY Divta Watal

Trying to emulate “real” scientists, 75 children from Greenwich Village’s P.S. 3 embarked on an adventurous field trip to the Hudson River last Wednesday. Students from kindergarten to grade five, accompanied by teachers and parent volunteers, conducted air and water tests, working assiduously from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It was a fabulous, fabulous day,” said teacher Susan Soler, “and just an incredible experience for the kids.”

Shino Tanikawa, a parent who is a scientist, set up five stations for the children to test pH levels in the water and oxygen in the air. After seven hours, the budding scientists concluded that the Hudson was quite healthy.

“All the classes were so excited, but the older classes especially. They felt like real scientists,” said Soler.

The children were thrilled to see a blue crab swim by while they conducted their experiments, though a few students missed it.

“If you don’t see anything, you have to stop, listen and look,” teachers told them.

As another special treat, Stephan P. Stanne, author of “The Hudson: An Illustrated Guide to the Living River,” dropped by and autographed his book for the children. Stanne, who is the education director for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc., a nonprofit education and advocacy organization based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., spoke to his young audience about the Hudson’s history and diversity of plants and wildlife.

Dr. Mary J. Leou, director of the Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education at N.Y.U.’s Steinhardt School of Education, also participated in the field trip. Part of the university’s “Hudson River Education Series,” the event aimed to educate teachers and students about current research and issues affecting the Hudson River estuary and New York Harbor.

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