Pupils test wa­ter at Po­hang­ina River

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Rural - JILL GAL­LOWAY

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.’’

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WIL­SON/STUFF

Pu­plis check wa­ter clar­ity in the Po­hang­ina River.

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