Pupils test water at Pohangina River
Top science pupils at intermediate schools have a better appreciation of erosion-prone land and water quality at Pohangina River after a day out with the Horizons regional council.
The Manawatu¯ Whanganui regional council hosted three Palmerston North pupils and one Whanganui pupil during a handson internship day to learn about land management and water quality.
Jake Rayner of Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School, Gabriel Maclean of Cornerstone Christian School, Georgia Tindle of Ross Intermediate and Sophie Bedwell of Whanganui Intermediate were part of the Manawatu Science and Technology Fair and Whanganui Regional Science Fair.
They went to check erosionprone farms and planted trees to stop a sandstone gully eroding into the river, and checked water clarity and insect life in the Pohangina River.
Horizons natural resources and partnership manager Dr Jon Roygard was impressed.
‘‘Students who completed high quality projects that aligned with Horizons’ business were invited to join our staff for an internship day. The day was designed to give students the chance to extend and apply their project research in an applicable way.’’
Roygard said Jake and Gabriel both created projects around soil erosion, while Georgia and Sophie’s studies focused on water quality.
Six invitations were handed out and four made it.
‘‘We hope the experience inspires them to explore environmental science as a career option in the future.’’
Horizons environmental educator Sarah Galley had them filling tubes with Pohangina River water and checking the clarity. Then they turned over stones and caught invertebrates to see how healthy the river might be.
‘‘As the students’ projects focused on erosion and water quality we spent the day with our land management staff visiting sites in the Pohangina catchment to demonstrate the link between soil loss and sediment entering our waterways.
‘‘This included erosion sites, planting sites that aim to address erosion issues and water quality testing in the same catchment,’’ said Galley.
‘‘They are the future of conservation and hopefully the day inspired them to keep up their science curiosity.’’
Puplis check water clarity in the Pohangina River.