JerseySTEM and Great Swamp Watershed Association Teach About Water Quality

June 2, 2017

On Friday, May 26, fifteen girls in grades 2-5 joined the Great Swamp Watershed Association in a hands-on lesson about testing the water quality of the area's rivers and streams.  Streams feeding the Great Swamp form the headwaters of the Passaic River, water source to over two million people.



The two hour program, part of JerseySTEM’s Girls in STEM series, was led by Sandra Levigne, the GSWA's water scientist.  After a learning about the Great Swamp watershed and principles of water quality, the girls tested for PH, nitrogen and phosphate levels, and surveyed the macro-invertebrate diversity in samples from three streams in the headwaters.  Led by Levigne, the girls discussed how their results were related to the intensity of human development around each of the streams.


"The girls gained exposure to methods of gathering chemical and biological field data and interpreting the results," said Dr. Virginie Aris, a volunteer coordinator with JerseySTEM. "The lesson was a wonderful contribution to our year-long series aimed at sparking greater interest in science, technology, engineering and math at a critical time in girls' lives."


For more information about Girls In STEM and the broader JerseySTEM community co-op program, please visit or email  A new monthly, Friday afternoon series for the 2017-2018 academic year will begin in October. Girls In STEM The program is sponsored by DK ( and Madison’s Short Stories ( JerseySTEM is sponsored by Gearhart Law  ( and Dun and Bradstreet (


The Great Swamp Watershed Association, located on Tempe Wick Road in Morristown and at, offers a wide variety of conservation and education opportunities year-round. 





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