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REACH 4Schools

What is R4S?

This program, which ran from 2016 - 2019, engaged students from grades 6 through university level in monitoring water quality within the 3RQ Regions. Middle and high schools participated in the project by collecting data, either by collecting physical samples for chemical analysis or by deploying continuous data loggers. They also learned about water quality, water chemistry, biology, aquatic biology, scientific protocols, and more. The data the schools collected were managed and shared with other participating schools through the 3RQ WATERS database. By sharing data, students learned about scientific collaboration, in addition to helping provide a more complete picture of the overall health of the three rivers.3RQ REACH 4Schools (R4S) is an educational framework that engages students from grades 6 through university level in monitoring water quality within the Allegheny, Monongahela, and upper Ohio River Basins.

R4S was funded through an Environmental Education Grant from PADEP and the STREAMing contest was funded through a grant from EQT.

R4S engaged six schools in western Pennsylvania for two academic years. Support from 3RQ for participating R4S schools included:

  • Providing ideas to the school on how to integrate R4S activity into current curricula or afterschool programs;
  • Providing partial reimbursement of transportation for 6 trips to and from a school’s sample site;
  • Providing the use of a Platypus robotic boat at least once/year;
  • Providing ability to share data between schools ;
  • Providing a 4-part lecture series (EDTalks) on Stream Integrity designed specifically for middle to high schools students; and
  • Hosting a water quality research conference for students to present their water quality projects and/or research, and to network with other students doing the same.

Check out our printable brochure.

R4S Competition

The Contest, called STREAMing (Science, Technology, Rivers, Engineering, Arts, Math), tasks the students with creating a website to showcase the water quality monitoring projects they have worked on in coordination with Three Rivers Quest. In addition to the websites, the students are required to create a video giving a reflection on what they learned or found interesting throughout the duration of these projects. The website and video will be scored by numerous judges from EQT and the West Virginia Water Research Institute. The videos of their experiences will be transcribed and used to create a book, titled STREAMside, that students can disseminate to their communities, thereby expanding water quality awareness and engaging people who might not otherwise think of water in those terms. This book will be available to view in August on our 3RQ Website. 

The Reward

All schools are given a weather station, and all students receive a T-Shirt for participating. The winning school also will receive a gift certificate for Stormworks. Additionally, participating schools will keep the equipment and field kits provided to them and will retain access to the WATERS database for as long as they would like. 3RQ will also continue to provide the schools with technical assistance as needed in all aspects of water quality monitoring and information dissemination.

The Winners!!
All websites were viewed and scored by various judges and points assigned. Two winners were chosen, an individual website and an overall winner.

  • Individual Winner
  • Overall Winner
    • Trinity Area High School
    • Overseen by Ms. Melissa Monteleone.

Participating R4S Schools

The 2018-19 3RQ Reach 4Schools participants were:

  • Charleroi High School
  • Trinity High School
  • Trinity Middle School
  • Winchester Thurston HS
  • West Mifflin HS

The program is always looking for more schools to collaborate, if your school is interested contact Melissa O’Neal or Lisa Barreiro.

Student Projects

Charleroi High School

West Mifflin High School

Trinity Area High School


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