PITTSBURGH - On board, and underwater, students are getting excited about science and Pittsburgh’s waterways.
Channel 11 went on board RiverQuest recently along with a group of fourth graders from Pittsburgh’s Colfax Elementary school.
“That's why people of native persuasions and European, that why people came to Pittsburgh, because of these resources,” said Jeff Jordan, the co-executive director of RiverQuest.
Jordan and his staff at RiverQuest are getting a new generation excited about the health of the three rivers.
“Because this is the water we drink in Allegheny County. It comes out of these rivers,” he said. “This is the second largest inland port in the U.S., the second busiest.”
The 96-foot Explorer was custom made for RiverQuest in 2006.
It is essentially a floating laboratory that can serve up to 90 students at once.
Fourth-grade science teacher Donna McCartney told Channel 11 that the kids have so much fun, they don't know they are working.
“If you walk room to room, you'll see the students are leaning forward and they are looking and they are looking under the microscopes at the critters and phytoplankton and zooplankton and they are like, ‘Ooh, look at this! Did you see this over here?’” she said.
She added that this field trip will encourage students to be better aware of the environment.
“That's how we are going to save the planet. By teaching one child at a time the importance of our environment and taking care of it,” McCartney said.
RiverQuest has served 100,000 students over the past 19 years.