A team of students from Belfry High School (Pike County) will travel to Kolkata, India, in June to present their research on groundwater quality in Pike County. The team is led by their teacher, Haridas Chandran, and includes students Aryn Adkins, Austin Dillon, Carlie McCoy and Hannah McCoy.
The Pike County team’s research is part of a project sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Mission to India, which links schools in Kentucky with schools in eastern India to do community-based water quality research. The project promotes inquiry-based learning about water quality and the effects of human activities, while helping the students learn about each other’s cultures. Teams have posted materials and contributed wikis to an online portal developed by a University of Kentucky Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences graduate student, Amanda Sherman.
The Belfry team was one of 12 from around the Commonwealth to receive water-testing equipment, in addition to 10 schools in the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam and Jharkhand. Other Kentucky schools included Bryan Station High School, The Learning Center and the STEAM Academy from Fayette County schools; duPont Manual High School and Central High School in Jefferson County; Muhlenberg County High School; Southwestern High School in Pulaski County; and Woodford County High School.
After learning about water issues online with their colleagues in India and Kentucky, each team designed its own project. The members of the Belfry team decided to test water from drinking wells in their community. Each India and Kentucky team wrote research proposals and the team with the highest-rated proposal from each country – Belfry High School for Kentucky, and DAV Model School in Durgapur, West Bengal, for India – will travel to the others’ country to present their research this upcoming spring.