Lothrop Science, Spanish and Technology Magnet
Session 2007-081



Name Lothrop Science, Spanish and Technology Magnet
Web site http://www.ops.org/elementary/lothropmagnet/
Location Tampa, FL, US
Community Urban
Type Public


Subjects All Sciences
Grades Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade
Students 375


Title Isopod Bioaccumulation
Insects (crustacian) isopoda
Description Because the school is located in the largest EPA site for lead contaminated soil in the history of the EPA (thanks to the Asarco plant mostly), we do everything we can to help students understand the dangers and how to avoid accidental injestion of toxic metals. We created a school wide, year long experiment involving 4 schools in 3 states to determine whether or not isopods can be used as bioindicators. We set up several containers with different amounts of zinc -- the EPA came out to test the soil in the experiment. We are trying to determine if the isopods bioaccumulate and what impact the metal has on the critters -- such as population impacts, whether their bilateral symmetry might be impacted, size? At the end of the year, my little students help to collect the isopods and send them to high school students in Illinois and New Mexico who will do a nitric acid digestion and then Argonne National Laboratory (I work there in the summer and have access to some equipment -- but not microscopes) -- will test the amount of zinc contained in the body of each group of isopods.


Where did you hear
about Bugscope?
While I get the science magazines, I generally stack them in a corner for summer reading -- just too busy during the regular year. Fortuitously, my principal reads the magazines and dropped a copy of the September 2007 article in Science and Children in my box.