This Fall in Middle School Science Lab, the 7th and 8th grade students have been exploring the relationship between the health of a river ecosystem and the species that live there. The unit began with the students researching a variety of river invertebrates—mayflies, stoneflies, water pennies, etc—and then presenting their findings to their classmates. This research was followed up by a field study on the East Aspetuck at Pratt Nature Center. The study requires students to take samples of and identify the bottom-dwelling macroinvertebrates. The species found are indicators of water quality—the more of the most sensitive types, the cleaner the water. Our results are then tabulated and sent to Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, where they gather data from all over the state. This program, called “Rapid Bioassessment in Wadeable Streams and Rivers by Volunteer Monitors” (RBV for short), is a citizen-based water quality monitoring program established to help keep track of the state’s 5,800 miles of rivers and streams. Our school has been involved with the RBV program since 2007, and the data we gather has helped the state to keep track of river health and quality. For more information on the program, visit the DEEP’s RBV website.