Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Samsung Challenge work continues at HMS

Last fall, some students in Mr. Cuthbert's 7th grade class accepted the Samsung Challenge. Their project involved an investigation of the invasive European Green Crab, and its impact on our environment. These students were honored by Samsung for their work. They were named one of fifteen finalist groups nationwide in the company's Solve for Tomorrow Science and Technology Competition. 
 These students were invested in spreading awareness about this issue, and trying to find some answers to the problem. In June, the students, with the help of Dr. Brian Beal, a professor at the University of Maine Machais, put a small experiment in place in Yarmouth's Pogey Cove. They planted small plant pots into the ocean floor at low and high tide. Each pot contained 12 juvenile clams. Some of the pots were covered with a flexible mesh, others were protected with a more rigid wire screen, and one plot was left unprotected.
On Monday, October 19th, the pots were pulled, and the results recorded to measure the the growth of the clams and their survival rate from predators. Students carefully took each experimental pot and removed any netting before spraying the mud, clams and crabs with hoses to sift away the muck, and see what each pot contained.
The students found that the clams were ravaged by the crabs, and by the milky-ribbon worm, a native predator that also showed up in many of the experimental pots.
Less than 10% of the clams survived, but there was a glimmer of hope scattered among the shattered shells. Hundreds of tiny, native clams were also found growing in the pots, a sign that with some protective measures, the clam population could rebound.
Please click on the link below to learn more about this study: 

HMS students share information about their work with students from YES

HMS students working at Pogey Cove

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