Category: Science Fair

April manoomin Studies Water and Presents Posters

By , April 21, 2013
Students and teacher, Mentors and Scientists Meet at April manoomin Camp

Students and teacher, Mentors and Scientists Meet at April manoomin Camp

The study of water is important for all of us. 13 Moons and the manoomin project joined together today to learn more about water quality issues as well as present manoomin and science fair student posters.


The day began with a water blessing  and song. Speakers included Nancy Schuldt from FDLRM. She spoke about the water quality issues and projects happening on the reservation. She will be heading out to Washington DC to discuss further the FDL impact studies on water quality as it pertains to the mining in northern MN as well as the health of the St. Louis River Watershed. She commended the students on their work and includes the information gathered in her presentations.

We also heard from tribal group from Louisiana that will talk about the water quality issues they are experiencing in the Gulf in particular since the Katrina and the bp oil spill. They also talked about the loss of land as it pertains to global warming and the sea water rise. Considerable study is on going.

manoomin and 2013 science fair students presented their posters to the public. Community members asked questions of the students. It is a good way to demonstrate what we have learned this past year as well as consider what we need to study in the future. Raffles were held all afternoon to encourage students and the public to talk. Students gave anyone who asked them a question a raffle ticket.

IMG_3136IMG_3128IMG_3120Engineering college mentors, Wayne and AJ, designed an engineering challenge. Our goal was to construct a tower made of raw spaghetti noodles and marshmallows.  The design of the tower was to provide the  tallest, strongest and best designed -best looking tower.  Everyone participated and did well! It was a great day for all.




Water Quality

By , August 26, 2012

Miner’s Lake outside Ely. Sulfide level 21

Lake Superior south shore. Sulfide level 0

Wherever we traveled students took water samples to track the health of the water. Based on our continued study of the St. Louis River watershed through River Watch activities. Tests were conducted to determine dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrates, phosphates, and biochemical oxygen demand.

Miner’s Lake when it was an active mine supplied  WWI  and WWII with iron ore. Currently the pit is about 140 feet deep. Water naturally filled the hole in once the mining was done. Today it is a great fishing lake.


Invasive Species – Great Lakes Superior Aquarium

By , August 26, 2012

Invasive Species Game


Educational displays at Aquarium

Keeping our water and land free of invasive species takes all of us doing our part. Considering what we dump into the waterways and ground before hand can make all the difference.

Visiting the Great Lakes Aquarium helped  us learn more about native vs. invasive fresh water aquatic plants and fish. Through games students simulated how aquatic invasive plants and fish change the natural balance. They either eat too much of a plant needed by another native fish or grow too fast overtaking other plants that would typically grow in that environment. Any change affects everything. Eventually the native species can not compete and either die away or move.

It was particularly interesting to learn that gold fish dumped into a small pond negatively affects the pond tremendously. Goldfish eat a lot, changing the vegetation and ability for other animals to breed and grow. If you have a goldfish and are unable to care for it it is best to give it to someone else to take care of rather than a near by pond. A pond near to UMD had to be drained completely , cleaned and refilled because of the  of gold fish population taking over the native species and the connection of the pond stream feeding into Lake Superior.


By , March 12, 2012

The study of phytoliths in clay pots became more understandable as students made their own clay coil pots with white earthenware clay, bisque fired them and then completed a final firing at the campfire during camp. Other exploration to assist students in identifying phytoliths under the microscope were also done using oil based clay and drawing.  We hope to cook in the pots during 2013 camp.


By , March 12, 2012

  Students worked at FDLTCC lab with LacCore and manoomin teachers  to determine the macro-fossils found in Band Lake. Their poster was presented in Montana at the Geo-Science Alliance Conference and to the leadership on the Fond Du Lac Reservation.

Signs of a Chemical Reaction

By , February 5, 2012

Students worked with a number of “reactants” which when put together created a “product”. Our reactant options included cabbage juice, citric acid, calcium chloride (CaCl2), baking soda or water. Everyone got to pick what they wanted to mix together. Mixtures could use only two reactants up to all five.  Students worked in groups of two – one gidaa student with one college student. Groups were able to complete up to ten experiments. It was really fun.

Baking soda and cabbage juice was the most curious combination for Chelsey. “It turned green! (and smelled bad)”. She added CaCl2 to the mixture and it created massive foam and turned from green to pink right away.

Gye put baking soda, citric acid and CaCl2 together and it made a white foam that got thicker over time. It had chunky white spots with cold and warm in different parts. It was really fun.

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