MERRILL - For these Prairie River Middle School students, working in the water beats sitting in a desk any day.
Dountae Degner says, "My favorite part about doing this today is probably being outside of the classroom."
Science teacher Lynn Kurth is using an instrument on loan from the EPA and says this rare opportunity shows the class the fun side of science,
"Actually being able to come out here and use the same instrument, that's real world application. That's so important."
Kurth says the most exciting part for the students is stepping out of the classroom and getting outside to have some real hands on science here in the Prairie River.
Student Grace Huftel says, "I'd say it's actually just about getting out and experimenting with earth and stuff, and the water. Just going out and doing the field work of science."
Kurth says, "Making science real life for them is so essential at the middle school level."
And the class is retaining this data well says Degner, "What it does is it takes different readings of the water levels. Such as, the dissolved oxygen, pH levels, it takes the temperature and stuff like that."
But what do all these numbers mean once they're calculated?
Kurth has the answer, "Looking at the data today, the Prairie River is healthy. We're looking at the parameters of what I'd expect to see as far as the readings, pH level, dissolved oxygen for this time of year. I think we're in good shape."
Something students like Huftel already had a hunch about before testing these waters, "Yeah it's different than what I thought it would be, but not too different."
Using a rare opportunity to teach this class the exciting side of science.
Kurth says one other school in the Wausau area is also using an EPA water measuring instrument and in the coming weeks the two classes will compare results.
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - The Beatles.
Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!
"I found out it was the anniversary of the 'Help!' release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."
Gardens need some help with large temperature swings in summer
RHINELANDER - Northwoods heat the past few days forced plants to endure different weather, but you don't need to do extra gardening just because it's hot.
Experts at Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander say plants can manage the heat just fine. On hot, sunny days, many plants will wilt, but that doesn't mean they need more water.
"If the soil is moist on a hot day, I wouldn't water more. That's probably more harm. The plant can only take up so much moisture at a time, so I would just hold off on watering," says Sue Hanson, Hanson's Garden Village Co-Owner.
WOODRUFF - Americans will eat about 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Wednesday, millions of Americans celebrated National Hot Dog day. That was the case in the Northwoods.
Hoggie Doggies Snack Shack is a staple in Woodruff. Their All-American favorite is the Chicago Style Dog.
The owner Judy Rossi has been there for 12 years and says they go through a lot of dogs.
"Last season we went through almost 17,000 hot dogs. This year we're on track for about 18,000," says Rossi. "Statistically we go through about 8 tons of potatoes in a season, which is close to 16,000 pounds for our homemade french fries. Those are some big numbers for this little place."
MADISON - Unemployment is up in all of Wisconsin's largest cities and most counties.
The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment rates in June increased in all of the state's 32 largest cities. Unemployment rates went up in 61 of 72 counties and remained unchanged in the other 11.
Wisconsin's monthly unemployment rate in June was 5.7 percent, unchanged from May.
EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.
Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.
The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.
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