Project Overview

Materials List

Parent Letter

Please include a copy of the parent letter in your packet home. This informs parents of the sampling process, explains what their student is doing, talks about privacy, and asks for various permissions. The permission slip should be returned to the teacher and mailed to afarrell@mdibl.org when sample collection is complete. 

Sample Registration

Sample registration is mandatory. Please walk your students through registration and double check to make sure every single sample you’re shipping is registered. Names must be matched with sample numbers. Families cannot check their results without their registration. This is a matter of public health. If parents are worried about maintaining privacy, contact afarrell@mdibl.org.

Collecting 50 mL Samples for Analysis at Dartmouth

The protocol below can be sent home with the tubes, parent letter, and magnet. It explains how to collect a sample.

Optional: Collecting a 120 mL Sample for Analysis at UMaine

You and your students are invited to participate in a collaboration with the Jayasundara Lab at the University of Maine. This study will analyze zebrafish gene expression following exposure to environmental contaminants such as arsenic. The sample collection protocol is exactly the same as it is for the regular arsenic project. The only differences are that the samples collected for the Jayasundara Lab need to be:

1) collected in a 120 mL vessel and
2) frozen for 24-hours in a regular freezer within three days of collection.

This should eliminate any bacteria in the sample. After the 24-hour period, the samples can either remain in the freezer or be stored in a dark place at room temperature. They do not have to be mailed on ice.

Sample Tracking

Use this Excel sheet to keep track of who gets which sample number and if the sample is returned. This is very important for recording how many samples are run, where they come from, and helps if there is a missing registration. There are two tabs in the document: one for 50 mL sample tubes and one for 120 mL sample vessels. 

Shipping to MDI Biological Laboratory

When you’ve finished collecting samples, email Anna Farrell for the shipping address and send her your sample tracking.  Make sure the samples are wrapped in parafilm (around the outside). Pack your samples as tightly as you can so they don’t roll around. You could put them in ziploc bags or stuff the remainder of your package with newsprint or bubble wrap. 

How to Check Results

Case Study Template

At the end of the project, you’ll write up a case study. Case studies will be posted on the website to help future teachers, will provide a record of the variety of curriculum and activities students took part in, and document the community meetings.