Allegheny’s Creek Connections to Host Two Regional Symposiums

Creek Connections will host its 24th annual student research symposium on Friday, April 5, in the Henderson Campus Center at Allegheny College, and community members are invited to view students’ project displays beginning at 10:15 a.m.

Creek Connections is an outreach program of Allegheny College that brings hands-on, inquiry-based education about watersheds to students ranging in age from middle school to high school.

Throughout the school year, participating students retrieve water samples and conduct research on waterways in their community, monitoring the conditions that affect the creeks’ water quality. At the research symposium, they gather to share interactive research displays and hands-on workshops with their classmates, teachers and the community. About 400 students attend the annual symposium in Meadville.

The 2019 symposium starts at 8:30 a.m. and will showcase the work of students from northwestern Pennsylvania. Representatives from environmental and environmental-related organizations will interact with the students to present their work and talk about career opportunities in environmental fields. Among those organizations planning to attend are Pymatuning State Park, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry, the Group Against Smog and Pollution, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Drake Well Museum and Park, Penn State Master Gardeners, Viable Industries, the Crawford County Conservation District, the Pennsylvania Lake Management Association, the Pymatuning Lab of Ecology from the University of Pittsburgh, Trout Unlimited, the Foundation for Sustainable Forests, the French Creek Valley Conservancy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Woodcock Creek Lake, the Erie County Conservation District, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Beth Choate, assistant professor of environmental science and sustainability at Allegheny, will present the symposium’s keynote address at 9:30 a.m. in Shafer Auditorium.

“What most excites me about these events are allowing the students participating in Creek Connections to see that the project is much larger than just what they are doing in their school, but what they are doing is an important part of the project,” said Wendy Kedzierski, Creek Connections project director. “Their hands-on science experience collecting water quality data can lead to a career in science or a life-long interest that they can continue by being involved in local organizations.”

Among the area schools planning to participate are Beaty-Warren Middle School, Bradford High School, Cochranton High School, Conneaut Area High School, Conneaut Lake Middle School, Creating Landscapes Learning Center, Greenville Elementary School, Grove City Middle School, Fort LeBoeuf Middle and High School, Lakeview Middle School, Maplewood High School, North East Middle School, Northwestern High School, Saegertown High School, Seneca Valley Intermediate High School Gifted students, Titusville Middle School, Union City High School, Wattsburg Area Middle School and Youngsville High School.

A Pittsburgh-area symposium on Friday, April 12, at YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee in Fombell, just west of Zelienople, will feature the work of students from across southwestern Pennsylvania. Alysha Trexler of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will deliver the keynote address at the Pittsburgh-area event.

During the past year, Creek Connections has been supported by Allegheny College and individual donors as well as by grants from the Grable Foundation, Frick Fund of the Buhl Foundation, Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation administered by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and the Allegheny County Conservation District.

For more information, contact Wendy Kedzierski at (814) 332-5351 or visit