Greenway Studies, GK-12 | Biology, UNCG

Welcome to the Greenway Database of UNCG's GK-12 Program

Greenway Images

What is the GK-12 program?

The GK-12 program, centered at UNCG and funded by the National Science Foundation, is a 5-year project that places graduate students in the sciences into Guilford County Schools. The graduate students (resident scientists) in this program become better science communicators while simultaneously providing scientific expertise to K-12 teachers and their students in the classroom. The K-12 students gain exposure to scientific processes and careers.

How is the GK-12 program linked to the Greenway?

Our GK-12 program is centered on three High Point schools – Montlieu Elementary, Welborn Middle and Andrews High School. The schools are physically linked by the Greenway – a riparian, park-like area that follows Boulding Branch Creek, an urban stream.

The Greenway is the focal point for scientific investigations of the GK-12 team of resident scientists, teachers and students. By observing, monitoring and conducting experiments on the biological, chemical and physical properties and changes in their neighborhood stream, students and teachers become immersed in the scientific process and "do what scientists do." "Immersion" is often literal – students actively observe and investigate by wading in and collecting aquatic organisms for biological analyses and water samples for chemical analyses. Students learn how their neighborhood stream and the surrounding Greenway have been altered by human activities and how these changes reflect larger environmental transformations.

What is purpose of the Greenway database?

To document and analyze the seasonal and yearly changes in Boulding Branch Creek and the surrounding riparian zone, the GK-12 team regularly samples its biological and chemical properties at several sampling stations along the creek. The biological diversity of the aquatic organisms found here, and the chemical properties of the water, such as pH, oxygen content, temperature, and flow rate are recorded in the data set linked on this page. The data are used by classroom students to examine water quality and the health of the stream on a short- and long-term basis, seeking answers to specific questions such as: How does biological diversity change with seasons in the creek? Does fertilizing lawns near the Greenway affect water quality?

The Greenway and its database provide teachers and students hands-on experience in the scientific process. As the database becomes more fully established, resident scientists, teachers and students will use it to ask additional questions, analyze data and patterns, and to compare their results to longer term trends. We expect that the database and scientific activities on the Greenway will continue long after the 5 year GK 12 project is completed. Increased awareness of this valuable community resource by students and their families helps to protect drinking water, (the creek is part of the municipal water supply) and other services provided by this watershed. Students, teachers and the community might use the database for advocating sound management practices to their local and regional governments.