Says Who

says who.Deciphering a Scientific Article

by Hamutahl Cohen and Dan Johnston

The goal of this module is to teach students how to read and understand scientific articles. This skill can be applied to answering a variety of research questions from different disciplines of science and engineering. The context for this inquiry is the impact of climate change on a species. Although climate change is the specific prompt used here, the prompt can be modified for different classroom topics and different courses.

Students learn: 1) How to read a scientific article, 2) How to use scientific articles to answer questions, and 3) How to cite information in APA format.

Docs: fulltext.docx   intro.ppt   handout.docx   pikas.pdf   bears.pdf   turtles.pdf
Keywords: APA citation, cause, climate change, communication, HS-ESS3.C, HS-LS2.A, scientific articles


Native Plant Garden

native plant gardenAssessing Biodiversity Using a School Garden

by Jenn Yost, Carla Fresquez and Bill Callahan

One way that we can protect biodiversity is by restoring degraded habitats to more natural conditions. This process can be simulated at a school through the restoration of a degraded plot of land into local native plant communities. Planting a native garden is a way to expose students to local biodiversity, teach them the importance of biodiversity, and mimic what can be done on a large scale to restore ecosystems once they are degraded.

Students 1) develop their own methods to quantify biodiversity, 2) measure biodiversity in a native garden, and 3) gain first hand experience in native plant gardens, restoration, and human impacts on environments.

Docs: fulltext.docx   lecture1.pdf   lecture2.pptx   handout.docx   datasetExs.xlsx   graphs.docx
Keywords: argument, biodiversity, cause, data, HS-ESS3.A, HS-ESS3.C, explanations, garden, investigations, HS-LS1.A, HS-LS2.A, HS-LS2.C, HS-LS4.A, HS-LS4.D, models, native plants, patterns, questions, restoration, systems

Land to Sea

land to seaSearching for the Source of Pollutants

by Max Tarjan and Will Federman

In this module students work in small groups with map-based data to learn about watersheds and to find a likely source of pollutants. After a short introduction, students work together to intrepret ther maps provided and to support an argument, stating where the pollutant is coming from, using the map data as evidence. The module provides all the supporting materials needed to run a 90 minute activity.

In this module, students learn: 1) How substances and organisms on land can affect ocean life, 2) How human activities may disrupt ecosystem integrity, to identify the watershed that supplies a river, 3) How to interpret maps of watersheds and land use, and 4) How to combine information from different maps using map scales, and 5) How to make estimates based on map data, and engage in argument from evidence.

Docs: fulltext.pdf   introlect.pdf   summarylect.pdf   handout.pdf   watersheds.pdf   landuse.pdf   seaotters.pdf   sealions.pdf
Keywords: argument, cause, communication, data, HS-ESS2.C, evidence, explanations, HS-LS2.A, HS-LS2.C, mapping, marine mammals, models, patterns, pollution, scale, systems, watersheds

Top Carnivore

top carnivoreTrophic Cascades and Predator-Prey Dynamics

by Veronica Yovovich and Dan Johnston

This module presents a “game” activity in which students learn about trophic cascades and how the different elements of a food chain interact. The module explores the importance of top-down regulation and how predators may regulate the habitats in which they live.

In this module, students learn: 1) How predators and prey interact, 2) How human activities may disrupt ecosystem integrity, 3) How to formulate predictions and hypotheses, 4) How to engage in argument from evidence, make and interpret simple graphs, and make estimates based on data they collect.

Docs: fulltext.pdf   handout.pdf   homework.pdf   cards.pdf
Keywords: argument, cause, data, evidence, food web, graphs, HS-LS2.A, HS-LS2.C, math, models, predators, prey, stability, systems, trophic cascades

Otters and Urchins

otters and urchinsEcology of The Kelp Forest

by Kristin McCully and Jack Horner

This multi-week modules is designed as a general introduction to ecology as a science, while exploring the excitement of the charismatic kelp forest ecosystem. It introduces the fields of population, community, ecosystem, and conservation ecology, and helps build skills in using equations, creating graphs, interpreting maps, and modeling ecological systems.

Docs: poplecture.pdf   ecolecture.pdf   commlecture.pdf   introlecture.pdf   conslecture.pdf   worksheets.doc   worksheetskey.pdf   studyguide.pdf   studyguidekey.pdf
Keywords: communication, data, ecosystem, explanations, graphs, kelp forest, HS-LS1.C, HS-LS2.A, HS-LS2.B, HS-LS2.C, marine food web, marine science, math, otters, patterns, scale, stability, systems, urchins

What’s Your Walk Score

what's your walk scoreWalkable Neighborhoods as Healthy, Social and Safe Communities

by Jeff Jenkins and Sarah Baumgart

Students in low income communities are increasingly faced with poor nutrition and limited exercise options. One way to combat this is to teach about walkable communities. Teaching about walkable communities will also get students to think about land use in their own neighborhood, will make them more aware of their surroundings, and will provide direction for improving their communities.

Students learn: 1) Why safe and healthy communities are related to walkability, 2) How walkability of neighborhoods/schools can be assessed through a walk score, 3) How to think about, interpret, and communicate spatial information, and 4) What factors in their community can be improved to increase walkability.

Students, particular those in low income communities, are increasingly faced with poor nutrition and exercise options. One way to combat this while also building community is to teach about walkable communities.

Docs: fulltext.docx   worksheet.docx
Keywords: communication, community, health, HS-LS2.A, HS-LS2.D, models, patterns, structure, sustainability, urban design, walk score, walkability

Ecosystem in a Jar

ecosystem in a jarExperimenting With Plant Growth

by Kristin McCully and Jack Horner

Students, as a class, develop, conduct, and analyze an experiment to determine what affects the growth of an “ecosystem in a jar.” “Ecosystems” include soil, water, plant seeds, and other items decided by the class in glass jars. Discussion should focus on experimental design and analysis, but instructor can incorporate ecosystem ecology, biodiversity, food chains and webs, photosynthesis and respiration, and other concepts of ecology and biology.

Docs: fulltext.pdf
Keywords: cause, communication, data, ecosystem, experimental design, investigations, jar, HS-LS2.A, HS-LS2.D, math, models, patterns, photosynthesis, plants, questions, respiration, stability, structure, systems