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Lots of learning underway aboard Steamship SPLASH

On a sweltering morning, 21 TASK Adult Education Program students, staff and tutors boarded the Steamboat SPLASH (Student Participation in Learning Aquatic Science and History), a 58-foot stern paddle wheeler and floating classroom moored south of the Lambertville Bridge. While Captain Butch guided the boat on a short cruise up the river, TASK passengers met with the boat’s crew at three exciting learning stations to study the river’s ecology.

Above-decks, with a model of the Delaware River watershed, Dawn and Eric demonstrated how pollutants run into the Delaware and students brainstormed ways to care for the fishes’ watery home and what ultimately becomes our drinking water.

Steamship SPLASH

Below, students listened to Richard narrate the history of the boat, one of the last of its kind in existence, and Pete the engineer explained how the twin reciprocating engines worked to power the broad, red paddle wheel at the back.

At the bow, Anne coached students as they performed experiments to determine the quality of the river’s water by measuring its turbidity, oxygen content and pH level. After they made their measurements and declared the water in “pretty good” condition, the steamboat arrived back to port. Vic fastened the steamboat’s bow line to the dock and the jolly group disembarked and posed for a great group shot before heading back to Trenton to write about their exhilarating experience out on the Delaware to write about their exhilarating experience out on the river.

“What I loved most about the trip was discovering how the wildlife that depends on the river, such as the fishes and turtles, are affected by the pH of the water and its oxygen content,” said student Candido. “I loved talking about why it’s important to keep the river clean.”

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In Plain Sight: The Story of TASK

By LEE SEGLEM, Member of TASK Board of Trustees


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