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Submitted photo ON Semiconductor presented Misericordia University with a $25,000 grant to expand the Misericordia and Lehman Sanctuary collaborative educational program, ‘Language of Water: A Forest-to-Classroom First.’ From left: Heidi Manning, dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Misericordia University; Cosima Wiese, associate professor of biology, Misericordia University; Steven Willison, Pennsylvania HR section leader, operations, ON Semiconductor; Thomas J. Botzman, president, Misericordia University, and Molly E. Lorenzen, manager, corporate relations, Misericordia University.

ON Semiconductor recently presented Misericordia University with a $25,000 grant to expand opportunities for primary, secondary and higher education students to study and understand water quality and the impact it has on organisms and the ecosystem.

The grant will enable Misericordia University to purchase a portable YSI ProDSS Multiparameter water quality meter and related equipment to expand on the joint STEM program, “The Language of Water: A Forest-to-Classroom First,’’ which was established in 2018 with the Lehman Sanctuary in Lehman Township. The university installed telemetry equipment at the 17-acre wetlands site that contains old forest, natural meadows and prime wildlife habitat.

Advanced environmental telemetry and sensor technology connected regional classrooms to real-time scientific attributes of pristine forested wetlands, enabling students and teachers to experience a dynamic living watershed. The technology measures daily water characteristics – pH, temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity and more – seven days a week.

The ON Semiconductor grant will enable the university to expand beyond the Lehman Sanctuary and enable students to study streams, lakes, rivers and natural habitats they see daily near their neighborhoods and schools.

The hands-on STEM learning opportunity brings together college, elementary, middle and high school students from Wilkes-Barre STEM Academy, Lake Noxen Elementary School, Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School, Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18, Lake Lehman School District, Wyoming Valley Montessori School and Misericordia.

The new equipment will enable participants to take water quality measurements in a variety of different locations at various times of the year, measuring the physical and chemical properties of water. Additionally, students will learn to analyze the data to understand the impact of location, time of year and human activity on water quality.