This fall, 7th grade science students participated in the 15th year of datacollection at four local rivers. The field trips are part of a long-term study monitoring the water quality of the Mousam river, Kennebunk river, Merriland river, and Branch Brook. Students this year rolled up their sleeves, put on their water shoes, and turned over rocks to expose many species of macro invertebrates. Because certain species of macroinvertebrates tolerate different levels of pollution, students are able to calculate a bioindicator score for each river based off of their findings. This data, along with any observations of invasive species, is compiled and sent by the students to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to contribute to their "Vital Signs" program. This program helps students get outside to become active stewards of their local waterways through science!