Funded Project – Saving Virginia High School Field Education

January, 2013 Update!

Broadway High School Science Teacher Brad Erney, students Kelly Dean, and Devyn Smith, with Project Leader Watt Bradshaw thank Supporters for their generous financial contributions.

$1964 Awarded (December, 2012)

Saving Virginia High School Field Education is partially funded by Ahyayha Supporters.  Funds go to the Broadway High School Science Department to help offset the total cost of this program, described below. The funding period for this project closed January 1, 2013.

Ed Rissler, former chemistry teacher at Broadway High School, helped his students use science to protect their local streams and rivers, and ultimately the region’s water supply. The students have constructed a floating monitoring station for collecting a constant flow of data from local streams and rivers.

Several students, already so inspired by what they’ve learned, have gone on to pursue related studies on the college level at nearby James Madison University.

Now, to expand their research and get more kids directly involved, Broadway High School science department wants to raise money help sustain the project. They need funds for ongoing buoy repairs and equipment maintenance, expenses for travel and supplies.

They also need to restock chemical test kits so students can go out in the field and measure water quality at specific locations by hand.

Contributions for this $6250 project from ahyayha will be awarded to Rockingham County Schools to create a science department fund for water quality testing, and to offset recurring expenses for field education programs. Any additional funds raised above the goal will go toward sustaining these efforts for a longer period and over a wider area.

Broadway High School is located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley between Harrisonburg and Winchester. With views of the Shenandoah Mountains to the east, and the Alleghenies to the west, the whole region is criss-crossed with water – from spring fed streams in cool mountain hollows, to broad rivers that wind through rolling farmland.

But energy companies have recently begun exploring for natural gas hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” rights in the Shenandoah Valley. Fracking is the process of injecting large quantities of chemicals deep into the ground under high pressure to increase the flow of natural gas to wells. Combined with related processes on the surface, including the containment and disposal of the waste chemicals, it has been led to contamination of water supplies in several regions of the country. Well water is the primary source of drinking water in the Valley for the vast majority of people who live here, and the Shenandoah River and its tributary streams are fed by springs where groundwater comes to the surface.

Local citizens need historical data on water quality to enforce environmental standards and protect their water from contamination. This project not only provides valuable data to the community, but encourages young people to take direct action with the power of science and measurable evidence.

Please help support our public schools to get kids out of the classroom and into the great outdoors.

6 thoughts on “Funded Project – Saving Virginia High School Field Education

  1. The Broadway restoration project is a real, grass roots method to get young and old involved in improving the environment that lies just outside their front door. Projects like this will generate obvious improvements in water quality and habitat. Imagine if there were 1000 projects like this, 20/state, all bottom-up approaches, what changes would we collectively see? This is one of a “thousand points of light” – its real.

    • JB – this really is a grass roots project that won’t be able to continue and grow without community support – I hope folks watch that second video on the project page – it’s so inspiring and uplifting.

  2. We love this Broadway project – apparently so does Ann Marie H. – what a great lift to the Broadway Community to receive her gift on a December Friday!

  3. My daughter Emily helped work on this project. She was inspired by it and the relevance it had to life right now. I hope it will continue.

    • Karla, thanks for taking the time to offer thoughts on what Mr. Rissler and his class meant to Emily – we have just a few days left on this project and hope that parents will use this opportunity to help meet the goal – for future students.

  4. Thanks to EC House Church and Trinity Presbyterian members in Harrisonburg for caring about this environmental ed. program and of course for their holiday contribution.

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