Forum Role: Participant
Active Since: July 6, 2020
Topics Started: 0
Replies Created: 12

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Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Robin
    Participant
    I am using the CoCoRaHS citizen science project for this discussion. The site, https://www.cocorahs.org has data available for anyone to use whether you are participating in the project or not. The Arizona library I worked at had a rain gauge which we monitored and entered daily precipitation entries. CoCoRaHS is an acronym for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.  CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow).   By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web-site, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications. We are now in all fifty states. The data can be obtained at the top of the sites webpage, and has a lot of uses, especially with questions related to climate change. Users can get daily precipitation measurement readings in the U.S., Canada, and the Bahamas. The data can be drilled down to a single gauge by date or a date range. I found the graphs below, Average Monthly Climate Data, especially interesting. The graph is both a line and a bar graph that gives me a quick view of categorizing rainfall amounts by month, and also showing a line graph of average temperature over time. Students could use this chart to get a summary of their area, and even compare the conditions of another large metro area. Data from gauges closer to their location could be plotted and compared. Depending on the location, data may be available as far back as 2010. Screen Shot 2020-08-03 at 2.26.28 PM
  • Robin
    Participant
    While I am not in a position to execute a lesson related to this chapter, I love some of the ideas, and strategies other class members use. Having worked as a public librarian, I would work with the participants to gain information literacy to ensure the resources used were reliable, and valid. The box with tips on how to use Wikipedia is spot on, and giving the students tools to evaluate online, and print materials for their research. Understanding how to evaluate the foundational information will support solid hypothesis development. Going outdoors, to explore, and journal sounds like a great way to get students to start asking "I wonder" questions. I appreciate learning about the Merlin, and eBird app and websites. These are good tools that can support science learning.
  • Robin
    Participant
    I have been collecting data for the Great Sunflower Project (greatsunflower.org). The project asks that you monitor a flowering plant for at least 5 minutes, and then record the number and type of pollinators you see during that time period. The information can be directly input through the organizations' website or you can use a paper data collection sheet, and write the information down for later input. Challenges have included identifying plants and bees. The project has aids to help with identification, and it isn't necessary to indicate the specific bee or hummingbird species. Same is true for the plants, but if I were using this with a class it might be nice to be familiar with the plants the class would be observing. The outcomes will probably cause students to ask questions about the different bees or butterflies they might be observing. Why are some plants more attractive to the pollinators than others, and possibly many other questions. I would hope students would become more interested in the different type of pollinators, and learn more about them as living organisms. They might want to extend the observations to a gardening project to help attract more to their school, camp, etc. Students may even want to consider the food that needs pollination. Things I like about the project: data sheets are provided for later data entry, especially important if students can't or don't have a Great Sunflower Project account or access to computers and Internet.  The website also has a number of interdisciplinary educational resources, and lots of related children's book titles. I could also see combining this project with Seek or iNaturalist to expand into plant and animal identification.
  • Robin
    Participant
    I believe, especially after reading several other posts, is that being an enthusiastic model is important to have students observe and wonder. Due to students current experiences; living in an urban/suburban area, tight schedules with after school activities  or spending a lot of time in front of screens, it may be something that has to be developed over time. Children don't have the opportunities to explore in nature like many of us did growing up.
  • Robin
    Participant
    These are great tips for both formal and informal educators. So many of us were educated in an era when making mistakes, and having the wrong answer was seen as failure. Using your tips, and making sure participants understand that failure, and learning from those experiences is probably more important than getting an answer right away.
  • Robin
    Participant
    Sitting and focusing on the sounds around you is most impactful. Repeating this exercise at different times of the year, or year by year could lead to interesting discussions. Questions about what different sounds are heard at different times of the year; if there are more sounds or less sounds from year to year. Does the weather affect the sounds you are hearing; have any changes occurred that may affect the sounds (a pandemic causing less people to be driving, a new road causing more traffic, a new shopping center or housing nearby. I heard mostly birds chirping which makes me wonder what species I may have around me. Stopping everything else, and listening can help us relax, and start noticing our outdoor surroundings, which in turn will cause us to start asking questions. I've been working outside today, (one of very few nice weather days this summer) and have observed a hummingbird visit various flowers, and a tomato plant on my deck, but it isn't going to the hummingbird feeder. Does it see the feeder, is there enough food in the feeder, what kind of hummingbird am I observing? When I take the time to listen, I always have questions. qhRTFAB403B8-D25A-4510-B384-2BF8353517BC
  • Robin
    Participant
    I'm currently not in a position to provide an inquiry-based learning project. The case study based on the Lost Ladybug Project was a great model I would like to emulate. I like the point that the teacher should be the facilitator to guide students through a citizen science project. As a facilitator, the educator should help team members take on roles that take advantage of their strengths. Having a student or student(s) find a skill that they excel at, and that can be highlighted during the project would be wonderful outcome in addition to any other outcomes provided by the other three educator practices.
  • Robin
    Participant
    I believe all three teaching practices are important to incorporate when learning with citizen science. 1. Positioning youth as people who do science is important to engage the students with the CS project. If you don't see yourself as someone who can be involved with posing science related questions, participating in the inquiry process, and making discoveries then why would you want to be involved other than having to do an assignment. I would explain how the students work will have an impact on the CS project. I would find a video recordings of scientists on YouTube (SciStarter) explaining how crowd sourced data has helped advance their research. 2. Attend to the unexpected sets the stage for making discoveries, and dealing with the changes that may cause participants to rethink their hypothesis or approach to gathering data. I think this also fits into the change in attitude that experiencing "failure" is a good experience, and provides opportunity to learn to make improvements/changes for future endeavors. 3. Frame the work locally and globally provides relevance to the activity. My science learning was normally centered around rote activities, and didn't give me a long term reason to be engaged. As someone who has been involved in environmental issue activism, I find it very difficult to get people engaged why we need to save open spaces for biodiversity, or support alternative energy to help reduce global warming. If people are connected to the local and global issues with science research, we may not have the political divides on local and global environmental issues. I love the idea of presenting the information to family, and local policy makers to make suggestions or ask for change. It's important to let children know that citizens have the ability to shape change through knowledge and  community participation.
  • Robin
    Participant
    I have only used bioblitzes as an informal educator. They were great fun, and participants reported they learned from the "expert" that was part of their observation team. One of my colleagues was planning on doing the Globe Observer: Mosquito Habitat Mapper. She was going to have our county vector control educational staff come in to explain the various mosquito borne diseases that occurred in our region, and how to identify those mosquitoes. The event was also going to provide directions and materials to make a catcher for setup at home. Once mosquitoes were caught, observations could be uploaded to the website. This would be a great family project, especially since the Phoenix, AZ area is seeing more mosquitoes carrying disease. Several questions could be asked: Why is the region seeing more mosquitoes carrying different diseases? Which mosquitoes will I find around my house? Our library also had a CoCoRaHS precipitation gauge installed outside. We had a couple of volunteers who helped take readings, but unfortunately we didn't get a lot of interest from the community to participate. The library staff is making the necessary data entries.  I have been personally been providing observation information to the Great Pollinator Project, and thing would be a good group project, especially if there is a time to plant, and grow sunflowers. I am certainly learning about my new environment; from the dry, and hot desert to the wet, and cool Pacific Northwest. For either a formal or informal education setting, I would make sure there are a variety of flowering plants to observe over the time it takes the sunflowers to bloom. From my own experience, a variety of plants would provide a good range of different pollinators to observe.
  • Robin
    Participant
    As a public librarian, I have supported citizen science bioblitz events in a riparian preserve next to our library. The events took advantage of iNaturlist's ability to create projects. The library had defined the preserve as the project area. We were able to hold several bioblitzs mid-morning including a winter, fall and spring event.  I could see creating an extended series of events for a group of upper elementary or teen students to pose a question, make observations, and discuss findings. The bioblitz could be framed around the idea of observing migratory birds seen around the small lake in the preserve. Students would be provided with digital cameras, bird guide materials and binoculars. Access to iNaturalist would be the recording and database platform. The observation date would be timed for winter to take advantage of observing migratory birds (Phoenix, AZ). The students would be asked to determine and observe all birds they saw during the event, and determine if birds were native year round residents or migrating species. Their observations would be uploaded to the iNaturalist project. The student participants could create a chart with the identified migratory bird(s), and the time period by year when iNaturalist observations had been made. Another session would be looking at the observation data points loaded into iNaturalist during the recent project, comparing them to the observations from the previous bioblitz during the same time period the previous year, as well as looking at other riparian observations made during the same time of year, but outside the project. It would be interesting to compare their findings to a bird guide's information about range to see if the birds they identified were noted to be in the same range as the riparian preserve. If not, a discussion could be held with why these birds might have been observed in an area outside their range. The following science practices would be used during the sessions: 1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering) 2. Developing and using models 3. Planning and carrying out investigations 4. Analyzing and interpreting data 6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering) 7. Engaging in argument from evidence 8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
  • Robin
    Participant
    This is a very thorough concept map, and clearly defines the relationships and actions involved with inquiry.
    in reply to: Intro to Inquiry #719913
  • Robin
    Participant
    InquiryConceptMap The process of making an inquiry starts with a question about something you want to investigate. After making observations or gathering data, the results may cause you to rethink your question or may allow you to continue to make discoveries through critical observation or data gathering. This process can also be affected by what you already know, and applying the knowledge, making sure you take into account the new discoveries. Once all the data has been collected, and reviewed, an assumption can be created. The findings can be shared and reviewed by others. I really like the emphasis how critical thinking and life-long learning skills are developed when going through an inquiry.
    in reply to: Intro to Inquiry #719911
Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)