BSM science teachers receives STEM grant


Kendel Malcolm

Mr. John Porisch plans to use the grant to improve the ecology and environmental science classes.

Emma Bird, Staff Writer

Senior high science teacher Mr. John Porisch and Mr. Steve Pohlen received a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) grant that will be used to enhance the science classes at BSM.

The grant, which was given by the Minnesota Independent School Forum (MISF), will go towards improving the Ecology and Environmental science classes. More specifically, Porisch wants to use the money to give students hands-on experience in learning about water quality. “We’re going to use the money to buy a stream table that can mimic stream and river flow,” Porisch said.

The stream table will be filled with sand and water, allowing students to make a stream to gain a more accurate understanding of how the rivers that they are learning about actually work. “We can create river banks, see the normal flow of a river, and then we will be able to pump water through it to see how well it handles flood water,” Porisch said.

Another bonus that Porisch sees in using the stream table is the ability to teach students about how rivers can affect people. “We can potentially see how well the stream could support human development along the shore,” Porisch said.

In addition to the stream table, Porisch hopes to use the grant to increase hands-on activities in actual rivers. “We want to purchase water quality testing equipment tools that we can take to the water,” Porisch said.

The  benefits of the grant will also be extended to the eighth grade earth science classes as well as the senior high classes. For Porisch, the advantage of the the stream table and the equipment is the experience it gives students. “I want to give the students more immersion, more hands-on experience creating and learning from their mistakes to build what should be a healthy watershed,” Porisch said.