STEM Field Investigations Bridging the natural curiosity of the learner with the disciplinary pursuits of science
Field Investigations Working together Pacific Northwest Salmon Center
Introductions Who are you? Where and what do you teach? What brought you here this lovely August day?
Learning Targets • Developing field investigation questions • Using outdoors to teach science standards • Planning and implementing a field investigation with your class • Assessing field investigations • Community resources
Agenda • Systems • Investigative Questions • Descriptive • Comparative • Correlative • Comparative Investigation Process • Assessing Student Work • Designing an Investigation
Systems Understanding: What is a System? Content background(systems understanding) is crucial to asking good questions
Systems Definitions from page 1 • An assemblage of inter-related parts or conditions through which matter, energy and information flow • An organized group of related objects or components that form a whole • A collection of things and processes that interact to perform some function. The scientific idea of a system implies detailed attention to inputs and outputs and interactions among system components.
Notebook Features • Name on cover! • Table of Contents • Number pages • What’s missing? • Dates are crucial!
Before you go outside, you should… • Get to know your outdoor space. • Purpose • Accessibility • Size • Boundaries • Impact • Consider weather • Clothing • Wind & Rain • Plan for Safety & Comfort! • Emergency Plans • First Aid
Managing Students Field science activities are not recess!
Routines • Science Door • Transition Behavior • Home Base • Sharing Circle • Attention Signal • Focus Question • Buddy System • Boundaries
Ground Rules • Walk quickly and quietly to go outdoors. • Outdoor science is not recess. • Listen to the teacher’s instructions. • Freeze when the teacher rings the bell. • Stay inside the boundaries. • Don’t make noise near the classrooms. • Don’t injure plants and animals in any way. • Leave the outdoor environment the way you found it.
Local System • Go outside and observe the local system • Draw and label parts of the system • List questions you have about the system
Local System What were the parts of the local system?
Forest System Air Tree stump Moss Deciduous Tree Ferns Coniferous Tree Bare Soil
Local System What were some of your questions?
Systems Questions Systems Questions We want to ask students systems questions: • What role do the plants in the ecosystem play? • Identify one transfer or transformation of energy in the ecosystem. • What are some inputs and outputs to the ecosystem? • Describe interactions between plants and animals in the ecosystem. Between living and non-living components
More Systems Questions Systems Questions • Function of parts • Energy forms and transfers • Roles of parts in ecosystem • Interconnections in ecosystem • Lifecycles • Adaptations • Inputs and outputs • Subsystems
Essential Questions Essential Questions • Big picture questions • Cannot be answered with one investigation • Connect various investigations
Investigation Questions Three Types: • Descriptive Questions • Comparative Questions • Correlative Questions Read page 11.
What is the difference? Investigation Questions
Descriptive Questions • How many ___ are there in a given area? • How frequently does ___ happen in a given period? • What is the (temp., speed, height, mass density, force, pH, etc.) of ___? • When does ___ happen during the year? (flowering, fruit, babies born, etc) • Where does ___ occur over time? (What is an animal’s range?)
Comparative Questions • Is there a difference in ____ between group (or condition) A and group B? • Is there a difference in ___ between or among different locations? • Is there a difference in ___ at different times (seasons)?
Correlation Questions • What is the relationship between variable #1 and variable #2? • Does ___ go up when ___ goes down? • How does ___ change as ___ changes?
Investigation Questions Sort Questions as to whether Descriptive, Comparative, or Correlative Descriptive Comparative Correlative
Temperature Investigation • What will we measure? (measured, responding, dependent variable) • What is the manipulated (independent) variable? Black Top, Sand, Grass TEMPERATURE
Temperature Investigation Work with your table group to write a comparative investigative question into your science notebook Measured variable: Temperature Manipulated variable (location): sand, black top, grass
Temperature Investigation • What is the manipulated (independent) variable? Underline the manipulated variable in the question • What will we measure? (measured, responding, dependent variable) Double underline what we will measure in the question
Constant Variables • What should we keep the same (controlled variables) in this investigation? • How should we make sure our samples are random and representative of the area? (validity measures)
Decision Students new to investigations and writing procedures benefit by going outside and making some initial measurements. Students proficient at writing procedures may not need this step.
Hypothesis Prediction • Write a prediction with reason • Address one condition of the manipulated (changed) variable • What do you predict you will observe or measure with this condition? • Give a reason
Temperature Investigation-Data Sheet Question: Which location:___________________, ____________________, ___________________ has the highest surface temperature °C in the schoolyard? Prediction:________________________________________________________________________ Date______________________Time____________Weather___________________ Study site (location) ___________________Study site Description ____________________________ Materials: _____________________________________________________________________
DATE • TIME • PLACE
List Materials • Thermometers • Stopwatch or timer • 3 locations: black top, sand, on top of the grass
Temperature Investigation Write up the procedure. Remember to include: The manipulated (independent) variable The responding (dependent) variable The controlled variables
Record date time and place Describe study site Go to the first location on the sand Place the thermometer flat on the ground Shade thermometer with sheet of paper 1 meter above ground Wait 3 minutes and record the temperature as trial 1 Repeat steps 4-5 for the other 2 locations on the black top and on the grass Repeat the entire investigation steps 3-6 two more times* Investigation Procedure
Record date time and place Describe study site Go to the first location on top of sand Place the thermometer flat on the ground Shade thermometer with sheet of paper 1 meter above ground Wait 3 minutes and record the temperature as trial 1 Repeat steps 4-5 for the other 2 locations on the blacktop and on the grass Repeat the entire investigation steps 3-6 two more times* Investigation Procedure
Record date time and place Describe study site Go to the first location on top of sand Place the thermometer flat on the ground Shade thermometer with sheet of paper 1 meter above ground Wait 3 minutes and record the temperature as trial 1 Repeat steps 4-5 for the other 2 locations on the black top and on the grass Repeat the entire investigation steps 3-6 two more times* Investigation Procedure
Temperature Investigation Last minute details! • Data Sheet • Check out the rubric. This is what is expected on Washington State assessments, such as MSP and Biology EOC. *Rubric on page 27 and sample on page 28.
Temperature Investigation • What was the highest temperature anyone recorded? • What was the lowest temperature? • Initially does it appear your prediction was correct? • Anything you would want to do differently next time?