Project-Based Science

Grades 6–8
Scandinavian Middle School
Fresno, CA

Major Objectives

  • Assess local water quality by measuring  the number of individuals and species of macroinvertebrates in a local river


Students work as real scientists through field work: designing and conducting their own investigations, incorporating and modifying established water quality and macroinvertebrate protocols, analyzing data and making conclusions about a river that their community depends upon.

  • Project Length:
  • Outreach:
    10 per year
  • Community Partners:
    San Joaquin River Project, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Related Aquarium Teacher Program:
    Project-Based Science Teacher Institute

Notes from the Field

"We're running three types of projects: long term, short term and somewhere-in-between term. All have been successful—some more than others. We try to find common strands between all the projects, which the students like because this gives more continuity and purpose to the process of our learning."