Antibiotics save people’s lives...and make bacteria stronger and more likely to kill us. What is the best practice to balance these conflicting issues? In this problem-based learning module, the students will be evaluating real-life medical situations in conjunction with actual staff at those institutions and offering action plans to be ‘implemented’ there. In order to accomplish this, the science unit will be interlocking with social studies and a language arts unit that will have them identifying target audiences and sculpting a way to present their findings. This unit has the potential to be a full problem-based unit as well as highly interdisciplinary--it’s connected to full units in social studies and language arts which stand alone but can be fully integrated if desired.
Bug Hunt uses NetLogo software and simulates an insect population that is preyed on by birds. There are six speeds of bugs from slow to fast and the bird tries to catch as many insects as possible in a certain amount of time. Students are able to see the results graphed as the average insect speed over time, the current bug population and the number of insects caught. There are two variations to try for the predator, one where the predator pursues the prey and one where the predator stays still and captures insects that pass nearby. In the first case the bird catches the slow insects and the faster ones survive, reproduce and pass genes on. The average speed of bug should increase over time. In the second case the faster bugs come near to the bird more often than the slow ones. The slow ones survive more, reproduce and pass their genes on.
This variation on the classic bird beak activity demonstrates variation of beak size within a population and shows how the proportion of big-, medium-, and small-beaked birds changes in response to the available types of food. The birds with binder clip beaks live in Clipland where the large population becomes divided into two smaller populations by a mountain range. Popcorn, lima beans and marbles are the three types of food available in the two areas. Food is spread out for the birds to eat and then after 15 seconds it is counted to see whether birds have gathered enough food to survive. The big billed birds need to eat more than the medium and small billed birds to survive and each bird needs to eat more than the minimum amount of food for survival to be able to reproduce. Four years pass during the simulation and students are asked to describe what happened to the Clipbird populations and what they think caused the changes. A link to Rosemary and Peter Grants research on finch populations in the Galapagos is identified for those teachers who want to connect the simulation to a real life example.
Students learn about the amazing adaptations of the ptarmigan to the alpine tundra. They focus one adaptation, the feathered feet of the ptarmigan, and ask whether the feathers serve to only keep the feet warm or to also provide the bird with floatation capability. They create model ptarmigan feet, with and without feathers, and test the hypothesis on the function of the feathers. Ultimately, students make a claim about whether the feathers provide floatation and support this claim with their testing evidence.
This book is intended for use by future teachers, written from the perspective of students who have taken Science Methods II. The student authors gathered and created resources to help prospective elementary cience teachers better understand science and feel confident in your abilities as a future teacher.
This book is divided into five parts which align with the Science Methods II course:
Course Materials and Pedagogy
Within each part, the material is broken down into smaller chapters. Here you will find written explanations, video links, glossary terms, key takeaways, and practice quizzes to help you understand the material. This book is designed to be a flexible resource; use it as much or as little as you need throughout the course.