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Active Since: October 18, 2019
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Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Clara
    Participant
    RedHawkBud#1
    I work at an outdoor science camp. Our site is COSA certified and teachers select the 2.5 hour activities that they would like their students receive. One of the options teachers can request is our "Wonders of Water" program. Each session of the program consists of approximately 21 students, 3 chaperones and the naturalist instructor/guide. The concepts reinforced and/or introduced to the students during this program are the water cycle & watershed, wetland and creek and pond macro-invertebrate collection and water testing (which includes pH testing, temperature, plankton netting, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and bottom dreging to understand how natural and human processes can affect the water quality of our pond and creek. Ultimately trying to answer the question "Are the pond and creek healthy habitats?" The water cycle portion is mostly review and having students discuss how human activities can affect water quality.  Students participate in a watershed model demonstration where different objects are placed on the model and then discuss what happens when it rains. Discussion includes the "what happens if" scenarios of farming with pesticide use, animal waste in creeks, and human activity along different areas of the watershed. This portion is basically 1st level or confirmation inquiry.  Students experience conducting an investigation. Approximate time is about 20 minutes. In the wetland portion students participate in discussion on what is a wetland, how is it important and how does it factor in water quality. In this portion of the program students hike through different features of our campus that help with water quality of our creek and pond. We have bioswales in the parking lot, water retention basin, grey water recovery and reuse and storm rain collection tanks. Students discuss how these features help the creek and pond. After this short hike and reading about and taking notes about the adventures of  "Drip" the raindrop through these different pathways on our educational signage students play the Wetland Mystery Game. Students work in groups of 3 or 4 students and reach into a bag where they pull out an object (picture of a bed, a coffee filter, a sponge etc) They are given 5 minutes to brainstorm and discuss how that object relates to the function of a wetland. Groups then present their ideas to the entire group and other can agree, disagree or ask for more information and evidence from the notes taken during the hike. This stage of the program is mostly structured inquiry with some open inquiry for scientific reasoning and cognitive demand from students. Approximate time 40 minutes. In the next phase we introduce macro-invertebrates and how some organisms are more sensitive to environmental factors (dissolved oxygen, pesticide runoff ect) through playing a tagging game. Three to 4 rounds are played and students are asked to make observations of outcome of each introduced factor and what does that mean in a real habitat. This stage is mostly 2nd level with some communication of scientific reasoning. Aproximate time 20 minutes. In the collection and testing portion students are given nets and trays to collect macro-invertebrates they work as team in their cabin groups with their chaperones assisting with reading instructions for equipment use as they rotate through different sites around the pond. The naturalist rotates as well answering any question about equipment use and demonstrating if needed. Students record observations and record ideas. This stage is also mostly structured inquiry but with elements of the 4th stage open inquiry. The students carry out investigations and record results. Approximately 60 minutes. There is a 10 minute discussion of what the recorded results tell us about the health of the pond and compare to the tests performed at the creek . Discussion is not ended with an answer but with another question Could it be healthier and what other things could we measure that might give us more information? This is guided inquiry but without the ability to actually perform more investigation due time constraints. Possibles changes would be to layout the equipment and allow students to choose which tests they think are most relevant to their definition of "what is a healthy pond /creek? This would allow students to design their own investigations  but we have found that most of our students are still in the 2nd and 3rd level upon arrival to camp. Our students come with diverse range of skills and our goal is to have as many students as possible learn to observe, record observations and explain what they think that data means. Our camp is only one week out of their school year and the biggest concept that I like to see our students realize is that science is not hard we are scientists from the moment we are born we just need the tools to practice being effective scientists and open to changes in our thinking.
  • Clara
    Participant
    RedHawkBud#1
    Inquiry is seeking information about a topic or object through observation, brainstorming, experimentation , recording results of experiments, interpreting data and collecting evidence to form conclusions and sharing results, ideas and theories. Accepting input from others to challenge evidence and support strengths and highlight weaknesses of your conclusion.
    in reply to: Intro to Inquiry #659417
  • Clara
    Participant
    RedHawkBud#1
    IMG_0865
    in reply to: Intro to Inquiry #659046
Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)