IB 2 Biology Students using BTW in Bangalore, India

Guest post by Anthony Williams

Students at the Canadian International School in Bangalore, India used the Watershed Watchdogs and Water Canaries units to investigate the local wetlands to see the overall health of two ecosystems nearby to their school.

The story begins way back in the USA. My name is Anthony Williams. I am a biology teacher from Maryland. I worked for a long time in Maryland and participated in the BTW educator training and worked with BTW to take students on stream studies will living and working in Maryland.

Then I decided to change my life and become an international educator and decided to work in international schools. For the past 3 years as I worked in other countries I have wanted to use these lessons and skills learned from the BTW educator classes. This year I arrived in India and the school and students seemed like the perfect group to try it.

The students in IB Biology have to use organisms in the environment as environmental indicators to the health of the environment. This lends itself perfect to the water canaries activity in the BTW curriculum. My students enjoyed the investigation of two local wetlands. One is directly in front of the school and has been undergoing a huge disturbance as a walking track is being constructed around the wetland. Students also investigated a wetland area near an Air Force base and aroused the attention of the troops. The troops were curious to know what the students were investigating.

The students found a variety of life and used the physical and chemical tests from Watershed Watchdogs and compared the results with the macroinvertebrates they found. The students found a correlation between the organisms tolerance to pollution and the physical and chemical tests results.

In the end the students developed important field experiences and techniques that they will be able to use in the future on their exam and in life.