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Bark Beetle Exploration
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In forested areas, students are often intrigued by mysterious sticks covered in carved tunnels–but students often think the patterns were made by human artists or termites. After students complete this activity, they’ll have the skills to identify bark beetle galleries, to make explanations about the patterns of beetle galleries, and to interpret what these tracks tell us about the life history of the organisms that made them.

In an optional discussion, students can consider outbreak levels of bark beetles that cause the death of many trees, make arguments based on evidence about possible effects on ecosystems, then brainstorm and critique possible management strategies. An optional extension for investigating student questions about bark beetles is also included.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Beetles: Science and Teaching for Field Instructors
Date Added:
04/14/2020
Bird Language Exploration
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By paying attention to the sounds and behaviors of birds, students are introduced to a whole new way to experience and observe what’s happening in their surroundings, both during their field experience and back home. In this Focused Exploration activity, students pay attention to the birds around them. After listening as a group, students imitate calls and notice differences between them. Students think about and discuss the different messages birds might communicate, then they individually watch and listen to birds from a Sit Spot. When the group gathers again, students compare their observations and make a large map of the bird vocalizations and behaviors they observed.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Beetles: Science and Teaching for Field Instructors
Date Added:
04/15/2020
Buddy Biology: Observing Living and Nonliving Components of an Ecosystem with a Partner
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This activity is a field investigation where students gather data on physical changes of the ecosystem surrounding their school habitat.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Danielle Gile
Date Added:
10/04/2011
Climate Change in a Bottle: Overview Part 1 of 4
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CC BY-NC-ND
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Suney Park wants her students to know that what they learn in class is relevant to their lives and the world. In this introduction, she shows us how her students come up with a plan to recreate the Earth and its atmosphere and test their own hypotheses about rising CO2 levels.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Teaching Channel
Provider Set:
Teaching Channel
Author:
Suney Park
Date Added:
11/02/2012
Climate Change in a Bottle: The Experiment Part 4 of 4
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CC BY-NC-ND
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Suney Park's hands-on activity has her students making the greenhouse effect happen in a model. Using a light bulb for the sun, they create different control groups that imitate Earth's atmosphere with the help of a soda bottle. This adds up to a meaningful experience that connects what students learn in class to real-world events.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Teaching Channel
Provider Set:
Teaching Channel
Author:
Suney Park
Date Added:
11/02/2012
Climate Change in a Bottle: The Lesson Part 2 of 4
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CC BY-NC-ND
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After a month studying climate change, students create models of the earth and its atmosphere, and design experiments to test the variables involved in climate change. Students write their own driving questions, develop hypotheses, and build the models to use in their experiments.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Teaching Channel
Provider Set:
Teaching Channel
Author:
Suney Park
Date Added:
11/02/2012
Climate Change in a Bottle: The Set-Up Part 3 of 4
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CC BY-NC-ND
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Suney Park has her class of scientists set up their experiments step-by-step. Even though it can be chaotic and mistakes can be made, there is purpose and meaning to having the kids be responsible for all aspects of the experiment and the learning that goes on in that process.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Teaching Channel
Provider Set:
Teaching Channel
Author:
Suney Park
Date Added:
11/02/2012
Collecting and Identifying Rocks
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CC BY-NC-SA
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In this Earth Science activity, students will investigate rocks in an outdoor field trip. Students will be divided into groups and given a Ziploc bag to collect rocks. We will then return to the classroom, and the students will put their rocks into different groups. The different groups could be the size, shape, color, and texture of the rocks. We will then talk about the Rock Cycle and the three main types of rocks. Students will record their observations in their science journals.

Subject:
Geology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Linda Harvey
Date Added:
10/04/2011
Conditioning and Learning
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Basic principles of learning are always operating and always influencing human behavior. This module discusses the two most fundamental forms of learning -- classical (Pavlovian) and instrumental (operant) conditioning. Through them, we respectively learn to associate 1) stimuli in the environment, or 2) our own behaviors, with significant events, such as rewards and punishments. The two types of learning have been intensively studied because they have powerful effects on behavior, and because they provide methods that allow scientists to analyze learning processes rigorously. This module describes some of the most important things you need to know about classical and instrumental conditioning, and it illustrates some of the many ways they help us understand normal and disordered behavior in humans. The module concludes by introducing the concept of observational learning, which is a form of learning that is largely distinct from classical and operant conditioning.

Subject:
Psychology
Material Type:
Module
Provider:
Diener Education Fund
Provider Set:
Noba
Author:
Mark E. Bouton
Date Added:
12/22/2017
Crumbling Rocks - Observing and Describing Rocks
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This activity is a classroom hands-on , active learning lesson where students observe and describe a familiar item, to help them observe and describe the physical characteristics of rocks.

Subject:
Geology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Gbai Metzger
Date Added:
10/04/2011
Dancing Raisins
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This activity is an entire-class lab experiment that refreshes the concepts of sinking and floating, while introducing the concepts of bouyancy and density using the fizz from sprite (carbon dioxide gas) and raisins.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Kami Miller
Date Added:
10/04/2011
Describing Fall Leaves Through Words and Music
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This is an integration of science leaf observations with musical composition for early elementary students.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Cynthia Brown
Date Added:
10/04/2011
Discovery Swap
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This student-centered Exploration Routine can be used in many different ecosystems and provides a way for students to search for, observe, research, and share discoveries about organisms. It can be used with any type of organism or phenomenon you choose for students to focus on, such as macro-invertebrates in streams or ponds, under-log organisms, insects caught with nets, or plants.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Beetles: Science and Teaching for Field Instructors
Date Added:
05/04/2020
Exploratory Investigation
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Scientists can spend years planning, conducting, analyzing, and publishing the results of their investigations. It’s not surprising that trying to design and conduct scientific investigations in a vastly shorter time span, can often be frustrating for instructors and students, and may lead to misunderstandings about how investigations are done. Students’ attempts at quick investigations are often messy, and data can be inconsistent and fairly inconclusive. But scientists often do “messy” exploratory investigations before doing a full investigation. The goal of an exploratory investigation is to observe and record basic patterns in nature, as well as to explore various methods and improve the ultimate design of an investigation. Exploratory studies can be “quick and dirty” but are important to understanding a phenomenon well enough to develop a testable question and appropriate methods for investigating. Similarly, the goal for students in this activity is not coming up with great data, but to observe and record patterns in nature, and to think about how the investigation could be improved in the future. After being assigned a general topic, such as “exploring where fungi live,” students brainstorm questions, sort questions as testable or not testable, plan a brief exploratory investigation, do it, analyze the results, discuss ideas, and brainstorm ways the investigation could be improved in the future. In a relatively short amount of time, we can give students an experience that’s authentic to field science, while emphasizing how this can lead to a more thorough investigation that answers important questions about the natural world.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Beetles: Science and Teaching for Field Instructors
Date Added:
05/06/2020
Free Fall
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This video lesson is an example of ''teaching for understanding'' in lieu of providing students with formulas for determining the height of a dropped (or projected) object at any time during its fall. The concept presented here of creating a chart to organize and analyze data collected in a simple experiment is broadly useful. During the classroom breaks in this video, students will enjoy timing objects in free fall and balls rolling down ramps as a way of learning how to carefully conduct experiments and analyze the results. The beauty of this lesson is the simplicity of using only the time it takes for an object dropped from a measured height to strike the ground. There are no math prerequisites for this lesson and no needed supplies, other than a blackboard and chalk. It can be completed in one 50-60-minute classroom period.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT Blossoms
Author:
John Bookston
Date Added:
09/09/2015
Free Fall
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating
0.0 stars

This video lesson is an example of ''teaching for understanding'' in lieu of providing students with formulas for determining the height of a dropped (or projected) object at any time during its fall. The concept presented here of creating a chart to organize and analyze data collected in a simple experiment is broadly useful. During the classroom breaks in this video, students will enjoy timing objects in free fall and balls rolling down ramps as a way of learning how to carefully conduct experiments and analyze the results. The beauty of this lesson is the simplicity of using only the time it takes for an object dropped from a measured height to strike the ground. There are no math prerequisites for this lesson and no needed supplies, other than a blackboard and chalk. It can be completed in one 50-60-minute classroom period.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT Learning International Networks Consortium
Provider Set:
M.I.T. Blossoms
Author:
John Bookston
Date Added:
06/02/2012
Fungi Exploration
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Weird and wild fungi are everywhere, especially when it’s wet out. Given the chance to explore and observe fungi, students will notice them everywhere. Exploring fungi will also lead students to appreciate how fungi function in ecosystems as decomposers and other important roles. Recent discoveries in science have found that huge underground networks of thin, branching tubes of mycelium, the white tubes that are the main growing part of a fungus, provide key links between plants and the rest of the ecosystem.

In this Focused Exploration activity, students begin by observing fungi. Then, they learn that mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi. Students use a simple key to identify types of fungi, record data, then regroup, and discuss patterns of where fungi grow. Next, they learn about how fungi digest what they live on, discuss fungal impacts on ecosystems, and reflect on fungi roles in decomposition.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Beetles: Science and Teaching for Field Instructors
Date Added:
05/06/2020