As a continuation of their grant project last year, Gorham Middle School science classes are working to eradicate the invasive Japanese Knotweed from their school grounds. Students are taking their knowledge from the classroom and implementing it through experiments and observations. Here is what they’ve been working on. —Sarah Oberink, NRCM Protecting the Nature of Maine Education Grants Intern
We finally got outside! There was still snow on the ground, but the students were excited to get back into the woods! We went out to look at the area and talk about the Japanese knotweed on Thursday—lots of the stalks were still buried under snow. The students came prepared with boots, gloves, clippers, loppers, and enthusiasm! Our goal was to eliminate as many of the stalks as we can so the students could mark out their plots after April vacation. In each of the group plots students will be responsible for coming up with a way to lessen/eliminate the knotweed growth for a month. They will come up with a plan, carry it out, collect data, and report their findings. Here are some of our pictures from the day:
This is the area before we started. Notice how the knotweed goes back as far as you can see.
We removed a lot of trash from the area as well.
The following picture is the area after removing many of the dead stalks.
Now that the area is cleaned up, we can start plotting it out to begin our experiments!
– Guest post by Angela Gospodarek, Gorham Science Teacher