Spawning salmon, close up and personal

Students from Skyline High School in Issaquah had a close-up experience with death. Death of a salmon, that is, when they pulled a fish carcass out of Issaquah Creek while participating in a Mountains to Sound Greenway field study trip.

These 9th grade students in Chris Wieland’s Biodiversity class were supposed to be finding and documenting macroinvertebrates – water bugs – in the stream to calculate its ecological health. Their attention may have been temporarily diverted from the assigned science experiment by the salmon!

Students first participated in an in-class lesson at their school to pose the essential question, “What makes a healthy forest/stream environment?”

Issaquah biodiversity students

Then they took a field study trip to Lake Sammamish State Park to conduct measurements about wildlife, bugs, water quality and plants, followed by and afternoon spent planting dozens of native trees.

For many, this was the first time they attended science class outdoors.

This event was part of a new partnership with Issaquah Schools Foundation and Port Blakely, developer of Issaquah Highlands, that brings 9th grade students from all four Issaquah area high schools to participate in the Mountains to Sound Greenway Education Program.