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Kids Spending Summer at Science Camp

It's part of a summer science institute where students are learning the ins and outs of improving water quality.

A group of middle and high schoolers are acting as investigators, taking water samples and analyzing data.

Matthew Williams, a student at Union County High School, says, "What interested me was all the stuff that's in the water that I didn't know was there before."

Ireshia Denson, a student at Howard Middle School, says, "Sometimes, we'll find different types of micro-organisms living in the water. We'll have to conduct certain tests in which we'll have to find the conductivity."

Students are taking part in the governor's summer science institute on water quality at North Florida Community College. Part of their research is focused on the high nitrate levels found in some bodies of water, causing the water to become unhealthy for human consumption.

Terry Zimmerman of North Florida Community College, says, "When you have a lot of animals in a small area, you can get a build up of manure, and if the plants can't soak it up, then it gets down into the aquifer or it runs in to the rivers or streams, and then, of course, we get nitrate in the water supply."

The students also took organism samples to test various oxygen levels in the water.

Zimmerman says, "Everyone's taking oil and gas prices right now, but I think water is going to be the big crises in maybe 10 years, bigger than oil or gas."

The ultimate goal is for these students is to take what they've learned and set up monitoring projects in their home. The Summer Science Institute runs through June 17.


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