April 20, 2024
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April 20, 2024
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BCHA Science Is All About Coral Reefs

Chris Graseck’s seventh-grade science class at Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy, is growing coral fragments to learn more about why Earth’s coral reefs are in decline. Every seventh grader has been given the opportunity to choose from an assortment of coral species. The corals range from easy to quite difficult to culture in captivity. The students are largely choosing very hardy species, as they are excited to see significant growth over the course of the year.

In order to keep the corals healthy, the two BCHA seventh-grade classes are monitoring water quality parameters, such as pH, salinity, temperature, alkalinity and calcium level. The students have seen firsthand that their own breathing raises the carbon dioxide level in the classroom and that this in turn lowers the pH in the coral growth aquarium. They know that the corals need a minimum pH of 7.8 in order to live and that a pH of 8.3 will give them significantly better growth. This experiment has helped the classes to better understand how atmospheric CO2 levels affect coral growth and survival.

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