2006 Pre-College Science Education Awardee

Kaitlin Friedman (Geology and Environmental Science)



Mentors: Dr. Don Barber and Dr. Blythe Hoyle (BMC, Geology Dept.)


Mill Creek Watershed and Bryn Mawr Campus Pond

Kaitlin Friedman

In developing my proposal for the HHMI Science Horizons Pre-College Science Education Internship, I have consulted with Professors Don Barber and Blythe Hoyle in the Bryn Mawr geology department and Neal Williams in the biology department. During the summer of 2006, I hope to work under the supervision of these professors, namely Dr. Barber, to address important issues surrounding pre-college environmental education in the Mill Creek watershed, which includes the Bryn Mawr campus. In order to interpret the condition of their immediate surroundings effectively, young people need both the conceptual understanding of how their watershed functions and the skills necessary for assessing their immediate surroundings. My hope is to develop a program in which elementary- and middle-school students can visit Rhoads Pond and the sections of Mill Creek adjacent to Bryn Mawr’s campus in order to gain a set of conceptual and practical tools they can use to apply the science of watersheds to their own lives.

In order to design an effective educational program, I must first gain a better personal understanding of how our region of the Mill Creek watershed functions. I plan to begin my project by consulting with Banny Ackerman (the science director in the watershed classroom at Radnor Middle School), Jean Wallace (the curriculum director at Green Woods Charter School) other local science educators, and written resources to determine the essential data that students in primary grades can grasp when learning about their watershed. I plan to focus my collection of geochemical and ecological data on these areas, and I will also work with another geology major, Evan Pugh HC ’06, to perform more advanced assessments of Rhoads Pond and Mill Creek, based on the suggestions that Professors Barber, Hoyle, and Williams have given us. We will develop data collection protocols and standards for how to interpret our data, and we will maintain records of our results throughout the summer. I will work to simplify these protocols and records so they will be accessible to the visiting students, and, with Evan’s web design skills, we hope to create a webpage documenting our results, which will be available to the general public (including local educators and schoolchildren).

Throughout the summer, I plan to consult with local schoolteachers, curriculum guides, and state standards for science education to better understand how to shape the afternoon field trip program and take-home materials. Ms. Ackerman and Ms. Wallace have also agreed to let me test the program on their students once I am finished. Upon completion, I plan to work with the Bryn Mawr College Center for Science and Society to determine whether this program could fit within the structure of the “Fridays in the Lab” program already in place, or to work with the education department, the civic engagement office, and others at Bryn Mawr to determine another context through which the school groups could visit our campus for an afternoon.

Additionally, because I hope to realize this as an actual field trip program, I will continue work on this project throughout the school year by working with local school groups. I hope to incorporate an aspect of this project into my senior geology research project, so it will be necessary that I continue working on it well into the fall regardless of the time constraints on the internship.


Presented a poster at the Bryn Mawr College Science Poster Session Sept. 7th,2006.
  • Poster Title: "Monitoring Suburban Water Quality: Using technology and field activities to teach science and stewardship in the Delaware River watershed." Evan Pugh and Kaitlin Friedman.

Presented a poster and abstract at the 2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22-25 October 2006), Paper No. 88-4--Booth# 104 in poster session titled: "Collegiate Watershed Research Projects: Opportunities for Student Learning and Community Involvement," Pennsylvania Convention Center: Exhibit Hall C, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Monday, 23 October 2006.

  • Abstract: Pugh, Evan, Kaitlin Friedman, Blythe L. Hoyle, Don Barber, Neal Williams and Victor Donnay (2006). Monitoring suburban water quality: Using technology and field activities to teach science and stewardship in the Delaware River watershed. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 38, No. 7, p. 23.
  • Poster Title: Monitoring Suburban Water Quality: Using technology and field activities to teach science and stewardship in the Delaware River watershed) (1) Geology Department: Pugh Evan, Friedman, Kaitlin, Prof. Hoyle, Blythe L., Prof. Barber, Don (2) Biology Department: Prof. Williams, Neal, and (3) Mathematics Department: Prof. Donnay, Victor.
Attended a one day conference of the North American Association of Environmental Educators in St. Paul, MN. There Kaitlin attended a workshop on Public/private Partnerships in Watershed Education by the Global Rivers Environmental Education Network. 10/14/06.

Continuing Research Projects throughout the 2006/2007 academic year:
  • October 2006, Kaitlin prepared a pre-lab on Watershed Ecology for a Bryn Mawr College (BMC) program called Fridays in the Lab.
  • She worked on this project with BMC Geology-- Don Barber, Betsy Reese and BMC Biology-- Peter Brodfuerer, Neal Williams, Wil Franklin, Patricia Zaradic

  • Kaitlin worked with Prof. Catherine Riihimaki on a set of watershed education units designed for use in middle schools in the Darby Creek watershed (namely, Haverford Township schools). This project grew out of her summer research and collaboration with Haverford Township residents on the Haverford State Hospital site.

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