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Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

2011 - 2012 School Year Update!!

** National Public Lands Day - September 24, 2011 http://www.neefusa.org/

** Interested in receiving advance information, free posters, video links and engaging, inquiry based activities for K-12 students from National Wildlife Federation?

Go to: http://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Activities/National-Wildlife-Week/Educators.aspx

** If you are an earth or life science teacher you will be interested to know that the theme for Environmental Education Week 2012 is Water Wise and a continuation of 2011's Ocean Connections.

You may continue to visit: http://eeweek.org/ocean_connections to download their 2011 Ocean themed free lessons, video clips, posters and sign-up for their newsletters.

Enjoy your year! Alyce

Adah Stock Adah Stock 101510 Points

If you are interested in Environmental Science there are lots of excellent resources in the Learning Center about Coral Reefs that would easily fit into any existing curriculum.

Katherine Willet Katherine Zimmerman 21310 Points

"Earth's Big Heat Bucket" would be a great article to read in association with this.

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Katherine,
I did an advanced search through the NSTA Learning Center and was taken to the NASA link for this article. Thank you for sharing!

Many of my middle school students will be intrigued with the analogy that is used in the article. "The ocean, they say, is Earth’s “biggest heat bucket.” And like a bucket placed under an overflowing sink, the ocean is filling up with the heat..." I am visualizing the lesson props that I could bring into the classroom.

Here is a direct link to the article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/HeatBucket/

Enjoy your week! Alyce

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

There are a number of excellent podcasts about the relationships of ocean to climate that could be integrated into middle and high school curricula. Most are a few minutes long, and do a good job of integration.

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

There are a number of excellent podcast about the relationships of ocean to climate that could be integrated into middle and high school curricula. Most are a few minutes long, and do a good job of integration.

Kendra Young Kendra Young 17180 Points

Just in case anyone happens to get a question about some of the classes offered by third parties, such as Mississippi State University, I'm actually completing their geoscience program now and can answer detailed questions about the program. The ocean science and environmental geoscience classes they offer are superb!

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

I recently received my NSTA Express and the title, "It is Time for Birdwatching" sparked my curiosity. A springtime activity in November?

Students are invited to become involved in a citizen science program by observing and gathering information about which birds visit their feeders between November and April. Bird watchers are needed to help scientists track changes in bird numbers and movements from year to year. Project FeederWatch, organized by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada, strives to engage children in nature study and scientific investigation by encouraging careful observation and note-taking; stimulating children to ask questions about the natural world; promoting independent study; and providing opportunities for meaningful internet use and exploration.

Register your students at the Project FeederWatch website. The site also contains a live “bird cam,” bird photographs, information on birds and bird feeding, and tips for identifying various species.

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/

Sounds like a great opportunity to develop environmental awareness and provide real-life experiences for our science journals!

Enjoy, Alyce

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 63625 Points

Hi Alyce, Thanks for sharing this resource. There are a lot of songbirds that stay in my area through the winter months. I have my students make bird feeders using 2 liter plastic soda bottles and wooden spoons. We have several pine trees just outside my classroom so we hand them from a branch near the windows. The bottles are slick so they make it difficult for squirrels to use the feeders. If we keep the feeders full, we can see a lot of winter birds. We keep a record of them in our lab manuals. Ruth

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Ruth, I'm envious of your classroom view! My windows face a brick wall. Your feeders are a great, easy and inexpensive project. When I worked with preschool and low primary we rolled the pine cones in peanut butter and then seeds, but I haven't built feeders with my MS students. When we study adaptations in LS I use a lesson on birds and their beaks; how beaks have adapted over the years in shape to the prey that is available in a particular ecosystem. Have you used a similar lesson? Please share any other ideas for birding lessons! Enjoy your day, Alyce

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

If you are in the midwest, the International Crane Foundation located in Baraboo, Wisconsin sponsors an annual sandhill crane count. In addition, they have several excellent lessons at all grade levels covering sandhill ecology and integrating math and language literacy. I've found them to be excellent resources, and have participated in the crane count for many years. You can find more information at www.savingcranes.org.

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

I forgot this site as well. Each year, there is an assisted migration of whooping cranes from the Neceedah Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin to Florida. The migration began a couple weeks ago, but there is an online journal of the journey each year that I find fascinating. They also have a live "crane cam". The journal is at Operation Migration

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

As soon as I read about the Crane Cam my students and I visited. Awesome! You know, I remember last school year there was an owl cam that hit the video circuit...I'll have to check my files and see if I can find the link.

I viewed an archived NSDL/NSTA Web Seminar
Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears: Arctic and Antarctic Birds

The archived slide presentation had several facts about birds along with Life Science topics that included adaptations, migration and comparing of habitats. I was able to use some of the slides, images and background knowledge in my presentation on bird beak adaptation and to begin discussions in other areas.

The Web Seminar also included extension ideas for lessons on simple machines, the science of flight, sound waves and links to use with students during review of the science process and research skills.

View the seminar at: http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NSDL3/webseminar7.aspx

I'd love to hear if any of you have also discovered jewels such as this one in any of NSTA's wealth of files. I teach 6-8th grade at an alternative middle school and am constantly searching for outdoor learning strategies that incorporate additional science disciplines.

Enjoy your day! Alyce

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

Hi Alyce,

There are a lot of us crane fanatics in Wisconsin. There is a lot of information about the whooping crane population at the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership. Interestingly, the whooping cranes in the eastern US are not a native population, even though they are indigenous. The population now being established is reintroduced from the western whoopers. There is a lot of good information about the some of the issues of reintroducing a species from an extremely limited gene pool ( the population had dwindled to about 45 birds by 1950). Ironically, because the eastern flock is not native, it is not protected under the Endangered Species Act. There are just so many facets to the study of these birds.

I also have to say the first time I counted cranes, I took five rambunctious pre-teens with me. It was a frosty April morning, and we walked quite a distance through the mud to get to our vantage point. One of the kids lost her boot, and they all were complaining about being out in the cold at 5:30 am. That was until one of the cranes did a flyover not more than 15 feet above us - they are huge birds, with a wingspan up to about 9 feet. The girls were in awe, and the second time over, they studied the bird intently.

It is an incredible adventure to work on some of these citizen science projects, and the students learn more in a day in the field than a month in the classroom. They had the opportunity to meet some of the scientists who analyze the data, and received a copy of the national data for participation, as well as a ticket to tour the International Crane Foundation. Activities like this are the hook that get our kids thinking about the impacts of development on wildlife and the environment, and I would give up every Saturday for the rest of my life if I could participate in such programs with youth on each of them!

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Jennifer, I was smiling through your entire post! You shared such an amazing opportunity with your students. They will never forget the excitement of learning and being a small part to such an important event. You planted the seed and I'm sure those students will become great stewards for endangered habitat and the creatures that share our planet! Thank you for sharing, Alyce

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 89713 Points

Jennifer, What an incredible experience you provided your students. I wish I lived close enough to participate! One thing I have done is take my students on prairie seed collecting excursions in the fall. The naturalist that conducts these is part of the nature/forest preserve and is willing to share her expertise with my students. They love learning about the prairie plants and being allowed to collect the seeds. There is no substitute for being part of nature when learning about it! I also take my preservice teachers on a "work day" Saturday where they don heavy gloves and pruning shears and help rid the woodlands of invasive plant species like the Hawthorne. The naturalist-volunteers who lead my groups are always so excited to share what they know, too. I give a mini lesson on how to provide an outdoor field experience and my students go home excited to provide similar opportunities for their future students. What is great about tapping into the local forest preserve volunteer opportunities is that it is free. Alyce, I tried to find the owl webcam and couldn't. I agree that was a real treat. Carolyn

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers Elizabeth Dalzell 9945 Points

Hi All :)

I had the great opportunity to take an Ornithology class from Dr. Dan Tallman, I have listed a webiste below, and I think they are an awesome tool to use in the classroom. He updates this daily and has tons of photos, information and research.

http://dantallmansbirdblog.blogspot.com/

This is his blog site, lots of information and updates

Liz

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Hi Elizabeth, Welcome to our Environmental Science thread. It was great to meet you the other night in the Live Support Online room. What an exciting class to have Dr. Tallman as your instructor. I've read some of Dr.Tallman's published articles, but did not realize there was an active blog. My students will enjoy visiting the site. This is a perfect real-life scenario to show them the importance of Science Journals! In fact, I could see this as a great incentive for some of my middle schoolers to birdwatch over the winter break! Does anyone have any suggestions for student learning experiences over the long winter holiday break? Alyce

Kathy Sparrow Kathy Sparrow 47692 Points

Hi, Alyce. I also remember the live video of owls sometime ago. I Googled "live streaming owl cam" a couple weeks ago when my pre-service classes dissected owl pellets. I'm not sure of the exact website, but I found what looked to be what you were referring to earlier. Kathy

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Hi Alyce -

A great nature- based activity for winter is "snow tracking".

If your area gets winter snowfall, the students can have great fun identifying, measuring and journaling track observations. They can sketch or photograph tracks. Remind them to put a "scale" in the picture near the tracks, such as a coin or ruler.

They have great fun and learn alot about the winter wildlife in their area. They'll probably find mammal tracks, but may be surprised to also find some bird tracks.

The students can then use their journal entries to reference track field manuals and identify the animal. There are also many websites with track identification information that they can reference, such as The Bear Tracker's Animal Track's Den.

Dorothy Ginnett

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Hello Everyone -

The NSTA library also has a series of terrific environmental science materials for educators under the topic of "Resources and Human Impact".

Dorothy Ginnett

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Hi Dorothy, I read that you are a wildlife ecologist on your bio page. Your experiences in education sound fascinating! I'd love to hear some of your ideas for winter lessons. We have a small creek running through our Colorado, Middle School campus. I currently teach 6-8th graders. I'm having a difficult time brainstorming lesson ideas, especially ones that I could incorporate more than one science discipline. Thank you for sharing! Alyce

Bambi Bailey Bambi Bailey 9515 Points

I've been reading your discussion with interest. Although this is a digression from birding, it is an interesting and beautiful aside. There is an artist in East Texas, or I should say "forester artist," who does beautiful botanical illustrations and has recently completed a paperback of winter and twig identification keys. He's also started making illustrations that show deciduous trees in both their winter and summer silhouettes. The illustrations are lovely, informative and helpful outside as are the keys. Bruce Lyndon Cunningham is his name. The website is www.forester-artist.com.

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers Elizabeth Dalzell 9945 Points

Alyce and List Users, I think the best idea for enrich student learning over Xmas break would be to have students log into the blog and follow his stories, and look for birds that he recommends. Another great activity would be give a students a list of birds that are common in the area and have document time/location when they find them. Dr. Tallman does offer a graduate level online course you could take if you are interested. Thanks Liz

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

I second the idea of observing winter behaviors. If you are in an area that typically has snow over the break, looking for tracks and identifying the animals can be a start. Look for evidence of winter browsing, and hypothesize which animals might have done it. Look for tunnels under the snow, and burrows. After the snow falls, it is easier to find dens of many animals. Other things I like to do with kids is a listening log, especially if you are in an area where there is not an extreme amount of traffic noise. It helps to develop observational skills not usually focused on in school settings. Another thing that can be fun, if a little cold, is late night observation. Usually, we don't see this side, because the kids need to be up early for school. There is an entirely different set of inhabitants in the late evening and early morning hours. Try it on a super-crisp evening, perhaps when it is very cold. If you are far enough north, you might see the aurora borealis on a cold, clear night. If students can get away from the city lights, they will be amazed at how bright the stars can be.

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 89713 Points

Hi Alyce, Jennifer, Liz and Everyone!
I am responding in particular about how to incorporate other science disciplines, Alyce. With the creek, I am wondering if it is safe enough to do a macro and micro study of organisms in and around the creek for life science. Also, perhaps you could get some chemistry in with water quality sampling. Having a nearby park ranger or naturalist join your students one day could bring in science career opportunities. Perhaps the seasonal trips to the same area of the creek at least three times a year would be interesting. The students could observe the changes based on seasonal weather variations. Finally, introducing one of our renown naturalists, Aldo Leopold, and his nature essays from his book, The Sand County Almanac, would be a excellent literacy connection. I love his essay, The January Thaw. I have been known to "fake" animal tracks in the snow just outside a classroom window to initiate a scientific discussion...
Thank you, Dorothy, for the animal tracks website. That was excellent. I would love to hear others' ideas on other literacy connections besides my favorite, Aldo Leopold.
Carolyn

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Hi Alyce, Carolyn and others - A wonderful winter activity on a snowy day is to look at snowflakes under a microscope. The microscope needs to be set-up outside (in-advance) so it is cold, as do the slides. You can capture snowflakes as they fall directly on the slide or on a small paintbrush and then gently place them on the slide. The students will be amazed at the crystals they see. Students can journal and draw what they observe. This integrates chemistry/physics with art. To add in some reading skills, a good book to go with along with this is the "Snowflake Henry" story. Also the wonderful recent coffetable books of Snowflake photos (photos from a scientist's lab, who studies snowflake crystals). Dorothy

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Hi Alyce - You are so lucky to have a riparian area on your campus! There are so many activities the students could do around a river ecosystem. What science classes do you teach? Did you see my posting about snow tracking? Rivers are busy areas for animal travel and also are an important water source, so you should find lots of tracks near the river. You could do winter track studies and also compare to fall and spring track studies (across the school year). Pond water/River water samples are always great fun for students to view under a microscope. They will be amazed at the small lifeforms they discover. You'll just want a good pondwater Identification book on-hand. Of course, riparian areas are usually terrific for bird watching and nest surveys too. Dorothy

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Hello Friends, This thread is a gold mine of ideas! Dorothy, the tracking website you suggested was an instant hit with my middle school students. When we heard the weather report of snow over Colorado for Thanksgiving, they began cutting, pasting and printing mini-booklets of footprint sketches in hopes of identifying wildlife in their neighborhoods. I am going to take microscopes outside to view snowflakes, I've only used hand lenses, your idea is excellent. Carolyn, I smiled to myself when I read about you "faking" animal tracks. I purchased a set of assorted mammal rubber track casts this past fall, and I could definitely see myself doing the same along our creek. A completely new observational skill for my students' is Jennifer's idea of a listening log. Listening is a skill that I will often reference, but having my students focus on only listening observations is fascinating. I'm anxious to visit the creek in the next couple weeks and "hear" my students' reactions. My students' journals are filled with sketches of our trees, plants, logs and wildlife through the seasons. We keep graphs on water temp, depth, and speed of current. Each of my 60 alternative students have chosen their favorite spots, and often students keep the same spot for the three years they attend PLC. Many of my students have never had the opportunity to explore the quietness of nature until they attend Patriot...Thank you for sharing! Alyce

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

I forgot to share a favorite book of mine! Snowflake Bentley , by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, is a Caldecott Medal Book that I've read and shared with preschoolers through eighth graders.

http://snowflakebentley.com/ is the official website for Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley. Bentley adapted a microscope and photographed over 5,000 snowflakes. This children's book tells of Bentley's love of nature that took him on a journey of adapting a microscope and becoming the first person to photograph a snow crystal.

With Colorado receiving its first snow of the season, the engaging ideas that have been shared in this thread, and a copy of Snowflake Bentley in hand - my students will be captivated during their return trip to our creek!

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Hi Friends,
I'm excited to post lesson ideas from Dave Grabski and Jeff Mlsna, 7th/8th grade Physical, Life, Earth and Environmental Science teachers from Stevens Point, WI!

Dave recently shared this outstanding webquest on a NSTA listserv. I knew that our Environmental thread readers would appreciate the time they spent developing an activity that has been aligned to standards and is engaging to our students.

Thank you Dave! I'm looking forward to you sharing additional lessons and ideas.

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

To pick up on the discussion of citizen science and bald eagle cams from about a week ago, I was watching the news this evening, and a class of 3rd and 4th graders has set up a webcam at a bald eagle nest in the coulees of west-central Wisconsin about seventeen miles from the Mississippi, a major migratory route for the birds. For the last several years, the parents have reliably returned to the nest and reared two eaglets.

Right now, there isn't much happening in the nest, but the website contains videos of setting up the equipment and background of the project. If you are interested in following the project, go to Eagles4Kids.

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Hi Alyce -

Thanks for sharing the Snowflake Bently book title and website link. (I had mistakenly entered it as Snowflake Henry in an early post). I appreciate the correction.

Thanks also for sharing the Biome Webquest that Dave Grabski posted to the NSTA listserv. Small world! I've taught with Dave Grabski, he's a wonderful colleagues and a fantastic science educator.

Dorothy Ginnett

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Thanks Jennifer for posting the Eagles4Kids website of an eagle videocam from Wisconsin. Can't wait to see it in action this spring with eaglets in the nest! I know the WI Environmental Education teachers that I teach graduate courses to will really appreciate this link! Dorothy

Adah Stock Adah Stock 101510 Points

Hi! Jennifer mentioned podcasts. Has anyone used it with students or do you use podcasts to broaden your own personal knowledge? Adah

Lara Smetana Lara Smetana 6080 Points

Here are a few resources that I have found quite useful regarding podcasting in the classroom:

Smithsonian Podcasting with Your Students
Learning in Hand
NASA DIY podcast activity

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

Podcasts can be useful for either purpose. I like to use them to give students a short "vacation" from the classroom. It is like a very tiny field trip, with an expert as a guide. Of course, it can be difficult to find the perfect podcast, but as you are learning on your own, you will probably find some bits that will fit the curriculum. I would not use podcasts for the majority of the learning, but rather to emphasize specific points.

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 89713 Points

Lara, Thank you for the three podcast resources! I have been thinking about trying it out. It will be a new venture for me - to personally create one. These websites look like just what I need to get started. Please feel free to share any great ideas you have had for creating and using podcasts in your classroom to bring the outdoor in or to enhance environmental science concepts. Carolyn

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Thanks for the podcast resources Lara. I also have been thinking about creating one, so these will be very helpful. I know that some Univ. of WI-Stevens Point clsses in Natural Resources have experimented with some "self-guided" field trip podcasts. I heard it was very successful.

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Arizona Geology recently posted links to 1,000+ sites through "Online Clearinghouse for Education & Networking: Oil Interdisciplinary Learning". (OCEAN-OIL)

This site is an open-access, peer-reviewed electronic education resource about the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

http://arizonageology.blogspot.com/2010/11/huge-online-resou...-gulf.html

From first glance, this site appears to be every resource, statistic, image and link you would need to thoroughly cover the Gulf disaster in your classroom.

Enjoy your day, Alyce

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

This is for all the Bird Lovers on our discussion thread!!

Check out e.nature's request for birders to join forces for the annual Christmas Bird Count.

The tradition started in 1900 when ornithologist Frank Chapman proposed an alternative to the recreational hunting of birds that usually occurred on Christmas Day. He enlisted the help of twenty-seven conservationists in twenty-five different areas. Rather than kill birds, the group simply counted them.

Sponsored by the National Audubon Society, Christmas Bird Counts now take place in every Canadian province and every state in the US.On a chosen day during the final two weeks of December ( Tuesday the 14th this year), birders venture out and count as many birds as possible within their circle.

If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, take a look at the above link!
Enjoy your day,
Alyce

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Hello,
As teachers, we are always searching for engaging data that empowers our students and relates to their lives. I recently discovered the National Library of Medicine website that contains an Environmental Health Student Portal.

This site contains some excellent environmental related materials and links. The four main categories currently represented are Atmosphere, Chemicals, Climate Change and Water Pollution. There is an area dedicated to careers in environmental health science, a homework help portal and suggestions for experiments and projects.

Go to: http://kidsenvirohealth.nlm.nih.gov/

I'd love to hear your ideas and thoughts about teaching environmental science in the middle school years, Alyce

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

Last year we did a unit on systems of the human body. One site that the students found understandable was Kids Health. They also have a teen site. They touch on a lot of environmental topics, and are good as a starting point.

Also look at Kids.gov. The CDC also has a good family health website at CDC Websites for Kids. Both cover a range of topics, and are well-vetted.

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Thanks for all the wonderful Environmental health and toxicology sites. Here is another one from Encyclopedia of the Earth - Environmental Health http://www.eoearth.org/topics/view/49493/ You can access the "National Children's Study" on environmental health of children. Also some interesting information on the Bedbug outbreak. Dorothy

Dorian Janney Dorian Janney 10465 Points

These are some fascinating ideas, and I really enjoy reading these posts from the beginning to watch (or read) how the discussion evolves and evens takes new form as it continues. While the posts on birding and having students use winter break to do some additional sleuthing for wildlife using all of their senses, I also am quite interested in the idea of having students learn about environmental science- which actually incorporates all realms of the scientific disciplines- from physics to chemistry to biology to Earth/Space sciences- as they learn via real-world events. When the Deepwater Horizon disaster occurred, I was teaching some elective science courses at the middle school level. We spent over a month learning about and reporting in on a wide variety of aspects of this event. The students actually would watch daily newscasts and then decide on topics that needed to be explored in greater depth in order for them to understand what was happening and what types of actions might be taken. It was absolutely riveting to watch these students in action and to see them blossoming as they read, created graphs and charts, developed PowerPoint presentations to share their findings with the class, and conducted experiments in order to more fully grasp what was happening on an ongoing basis. Alyce gave us a website that would enable students to now use real world data and information to continue to study various aspects of this environmental issue that is near and dear to our students' lives and related to their culture. I think that most of us teachers must admit that we are never, ever bored in our jobs! There are always a myriad of fascinating things to teach our students, and sharing these resources and ideas is a wonderful benefit to us all as we inspire the next generation!

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 89713 Points

I agree Dorian. I love how our students just "take off" when they are actively engaged and excited about a real life problem. In this article - Science Sampler: Environmental Stewardship In Action- students become so involved in an environmental issue, that they decided to work to create an outdoor science education classroom for their school. I am wondering how many outstanding examples of students doing environmental science there are right now - today...please share.

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Hello, These images of a Bear's Winter Den are captivating and one I'm sure few of us have actually viewed. So many ideas for utilizing them in the classroom pop into my mind: [b]

    Reflection discussion or science journal writing. Instinct - survival, protection of young Environmental protection of species and habitat Food chain or web

[/b] Please share your ideas and possible student activities that would tie in extended learning. Enjoy, Alyce

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Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Hello,
Readers of our Environmental Science thread discussion will want to click on NSTA WebNews Digest and read about 2011's Spring Science Celebrations.

National Teacher Ag Day, National Environmental Education Week, Earth Day, National Arbor Day, and International Migratory Bird Day are all highlighted in this month's posting. Links to specific science celebrations along with free downloadable lessons and materials are available from the various science celebration homepages.

Enjoy,
Alyce

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 63625 Points

All,
I wanted to thank you for the outstanding discussion and resources. I have a group of students that participate in the Kansas Eco-meet . The focus for 2011 includes birds and also the woodland habitat in Kansas. Believe it or not, there are some wooded areas in the northeast part of the state. :) We are always looking for sites to help us with our identification and these are a great addition. Do any of your states have an eco-meet competition?

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Hi Ruth, I am impressed that your students are utilizing the NSTA Discussion Forums as a reference tool in their Eco Projects! Congrats to you for exposing this type of communication tool to your classes. I have never heard of "Eco-Meets". Does a state/national organization oversee those? I'm also anxious to "hear" back from our readers on this topic. By the way...I live in Colorado and must say that there are areas of Kansas that are absolutely gorgeous and much nicer than some areas here. I know as lovers of the outdoors, we can find beauty in any habitat we visit. :) Enjoy your day, Alyce

Dorian Janney Dorian Janney 10465 Points

Thank you Alyce for posting the link for Environmental Education Week 2011. I have never head of EE Week before, and went to the site and registered my school. We will be studying geology in April with my 8th grade students, and this looks like a great resource. Appreciate the resource! By the way, when I was asked how I heard of EE Week 2011, I gave credit to the NSTA Learning Center online advisors!

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Golly, this thread is exciting and I just jumped into conversations about environmental education, birding, and stewardship opportunities as backyard or citizen scientists for our students. I regret that I have not browsed here before but I now am compelled to applaud the owls, the cranes, and all backyard birds that our students invite into their shared environment --actually the birds invite us. I applaud all that is written on this thread and want to make one small contribution. I was looking for some resources in the fall and came upon this article and downloaded the free file for making sonograms from Cornell. I learned about Raven Lite from this article although I have accessed other sonogram programs for bird identification. I am sharing the article here and inviting all to read it and see how it can be applied to identification of bird song especially since one can not bird without learning songs as well as other physical attributes or the 'jizz' of the bird. Enjoy and adapt this article and see how excited students can become by recording and analyzing bird calls, particularly in the spring months when major migration is occurring as well as the search for breeding habitits and nesting sites. As so many of you say - share and enjoy! Patty Rourke

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Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Many of you sound like you are alteady connected to e-Bird and Cornell but just in case, here is a great resource site for students to use http://www.allaboutbirds.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=1189 Cornell also has live cams on many nesting birds. The Great Horned Owls are now breeding -- taking over as many Red-tailed Hawks as they can find - Yes! that's what they do and then the Red-tails build new nests since they mate and breed after the Great Horned and the cycle repeats itself. The cam on the nesting Barred Owls has been archived and won't be activated again until they nest which will be in early spring. But there are many other cams available. I used to start my AP Physics C class with the live cam of the Barred Owls for a minute or two and the AP students rushed to class to see what was happening --so, building knowledge and awareness of the environment goes across content areas even as those critical weeks before AP exams appear! Enough said for now. Thanks for welcoming me to your conversations. Patty

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

O.K., I could not resist since there was some chatter on bird cams and owls --here's some nice information on the barn owl gathered from a webcam and other data --and we need to be concerned about the conservation of the barn owl, who is not as prevalent as in the past. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Barn_Owl/lifehistory the Western Bluebird http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Western_Bluebird/lifehistory and finally the nest cams from 2010 --I'm pretty certain that they will have some working for 2011 as well http://watch.birds.cornell.edu/nestcams/home/index?utm_source=aab&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=CrossPromoteAAB_NestCam_20100201

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Sandhill cranes of the Platte River are awesome and the relatively newly expanded and with expanded outreach Rowe Sanctuary on the Platte has great educational resources. http://www.rowesanctuary.org/ The cranes shared their river with me and a dozen other birders for 3 very chilly days in mid-March several years ago. It is great to document their travel to Bosque del Apache and back, too.

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

The Barred Owl cam and its archives and history from 2000-2001 http://www.owlcam.com/

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Bravo Patricia!! You filled in several gaps from earlier discussions on our thread with your links to owl cams and wonderful birding news!!

I agree with you, this thread is addicting - it was mentioned earlier in the column that we are a bit "scattered" with our topics jumping around - but I believe all of us that continue returning to this thread are a bit like our feathered friends. LOL We chat and flitter about, celebrating our common interests and encouraging others to join us.

Patricia - I had not thought about having my students take a tape recorder outside with them. Jennifer Rahn mentioned in an earlier post that she had her students collect data on a "Listening Log". Both ideas are great.

My students had trouble concentrating on only sounds...and I found many wanting to close their eyes or lay face down on the ground. During reflection time students stated how distracted they became listening to "natural sounds" when they were able to watch other classes on the ball field or cars driving into the parking lot!! Wow, from there we were off on a tangent about how easy it is to be distracted from listening to a teacher when students are waving through the hall windows. PRICELESS reflections.

An outdoor adventure idea has come to me while I'm typing. When the weather warms a bit I'll take my students to our creek and allow them to document the sounds they hear - while also secretly recording sounds at the same moment. Upon returning to the classroom I'll allow students to discuss and compare their observations. We could even pull some graphing and data into the excursion...then I will play the recording.

I'm on a roll now...if anyone has further ideas, let me know and I'll try those. I always know that whenever we go outside - or I bring the outside in, the excitement of learning is multiplied.

Enjoy your week! Alyce

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 63625 Points

Alyce wrote, "I have never heard of "Eco-Meets". Does a state/national organization oversee those? I'm also anxious to "hear" back from our readers on this topic."

According to theKansas State Ecomeetwebsite, "the first ECO-MEETS were held by the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1976. ECO-MEETS are still being held there and the concept has spread to Illinois, Georgia, Maryland and Kansas." State organizations oversee them. We have several district ecomeets and also a state ecomeet. Community organizations, individuals, and businesses help fund the events and the scholarships.

An ECO-MEET is a competition where high school students' knowledge of their state's wildlife and plants is tested. It allows students to compete in four areas: habitat, focus, scavenger hunt, and interpretive event. Students take a habitat test that focuses on a particular habitat in the state. It changes every two years. In 2011, the habitat focus for Kansas is woodlands. The focus test tests knowledge of one particular group of animals. In 2010, the focus was reptiles and amphibians. This year the focus will be birds. The focus group also changes every two years. Both tests are lab-type practicals. The interpretive event is a blending of a skit and a lecture about wildlife and plants in your home state. It is very hard to fully explain. The goal of the interpretative event is to teach the audience in an entertaining fashion. Finally, for the scavenger hunt, students are given a list of items to find. They collect those items and return to home base in a certain period of time. They score points for every correct item that is collected. The scavenger hunt is my students' favorite event.

I do not think Colorado has Ecomeets, but you certainly could start one. Just partner with a nearby nature center or talk with your state's department of parks and wildlife.

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Topic: ECO-MEET thread

In Wisconsin we have activities similar to the EcoMeet in Kansas.

We have an annual Envirothon academic challenge in April for secondary students http://www.wlwca.org/pages/envirothoninfo.htm The 2011 Theme is Salt and Freshwater Estuaries.

We also have an annual WI High School Conference on the Environment in November, during which students present research on selected themes. The Nov. 2010 theme was Our Wonderful Waters: Challenges and Opportunities for Students http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr/wcee/youthconference/index.htm

Dorothy Ginnett

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 63625 Points

Dorothy wrote, "We have an annual Envirothon academic challenge in April for secondary students http://www.wlwca.org/pages/envirothoninfo.htm The 2011 Theme is Salt and Freshwater Estuaries."

Hi Dorothy,
Tell me more about Envirothon. I know Kansas has a similar competition and I believe my Eco-meet team would be interested.

Ruth

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Thank you for your reply, Alyce. Please look at the Raven Lite software from Cornell as you approach using audio components to your students' observations. I discovered it through the NSTA Journal article cited and although the students were using crickets and other critters -- other sounds would also produce interesting sonograms, as well as bird songs, and it is another way to connect physical science to the world outside of the classroom. Keep us in tune with what your students discover and what strategies you use to ladder their observation skills. Patty R

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Hi Ruth - Check out the WI Envirothon Advisor's Handbook (12 pages) for more detailed information http://www.wlwca.org/pages/2011%20WI%20Envirothon%20Advisor%20Handbook.pdf Teams of 5 students from WI high schools compete for the day on the selected academic topic. There are 4 testing stations and a team oral presentation. The winning team advances to the larger "Canon Envirothon" and competes for over $120,000 in prizes. I think these are held in many states and also in Canada. The Canon Envirothon is being held in Canada this year. Dorothy Ginnett

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Hello Enviro Friends, The ideas and sites being shared are great! I discovered this interactive site produced by the New York Times to go along with last summer's oil spill. The NYT will also send free weekly email updates of science headlines and an accompanying lesson. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/01/us/20100501-oil-spill-tracker.html Enjoy your week, Alyce

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 63625 Points

Dorothy wrote, "Check out the WI Envirothon Advisor's Handbook (12 pages) for more detailed information http://www.wlwca.org/pages/2011%20WI%20Envirothon%20Advisor%20Handbook.pdf" Thanks Dorothy! What do you do to help your students prepare for the competition? Any suggestions for a newbie?

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Back to owls again... Hello Everyone, A birding colleague sent me a ppt of 'hooters' that is very appropriate to share with students. The shots of the owls are great and it might be an interesting slideshow to use for owl identification for the students. I'm unsure of the 'etiquette' of uploading the powerpoint to this site. If anyone wants to view it as a possible teaching aid, send me a note along with your email and I will send it to you. The snow has brought many migrationg owls down the East Coast this year. ~ patty

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Hi Ruth - I wish I could give you a prespective on how to prepare the students for this event, but I actually haven't had the opportunity to take a group of high school students yet to the Envirothon. I've been looking at the Envirothon materials and thinking about perhaps volunteering with the Envirothon this spring. Perhaps I'll know much more in March. Dorothy

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

Hi Dorothy, If you get information, I would also appreciate seeing it. I would also consider volunteering, especially in water-related areas. I don't have a school, therefore, cannot have a team, but I would gladly help out with an area team if there is one in need of some help.

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

Hi Dorothy, If you get information, I would also appreciate seeing it. I would also consider volunteering, especially in water-related areas. I don't have a school, therefore, cannot have a team, but I would gladly help out with an area team if there is one in need of some help.

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Hi Jennifer and Ruth - I'll try to contact the Envirothon staff about possible volunteer work. Will let you know what I hear back. Have a terrific weekend? Dorothy

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Hi Jennifer and Ruth - The Environthon webpage appears to have outdated contact information. E-mail bounced back and phone number not working. They do indicate they have a facebook presence, but their link in facebook seemed to take me right back to their webpage. I'll keep trying to contact them. This time by their mailing address.... In the meantime, I did find a "key" posted online for one of the 4 Envirothon exams from 2010 on wildlife: http://www.wlwca.org/Pages/EnviroExams/2010%20WI%20Envirothon%20Wildlife%20Exam%20Key.pdf This should give you an idea about the depth of the content in the exams the student teams take. Dorothy

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Hello Enviro Friends,
Visiting this thread discussion is like sitting down with colleagues and teammates who are always supportive and anxious to share their new ideas!

Patricia – I would love to have a copy of your owl ppt. I have an Audobon video that I show my students, but the images are not close shots and often blurry.

I browsed NSTA’s User Collections today and came across a free journal article that discussed the use of enviro-bottles. This student lab is a favorite, and years later students will stop by for a visit and tell me how their “sealed” environment continued living for months. My students become quite creative when they develop their own Environmental Bio-Bottle!! Sometimes several layers of materials and bottles are used. Crickets, “pillbugs”, small worms, tiny goldfish or minnows, snails, small pond plants, assorted grass seeds are just a few of the biotic features the students choose from for their bio-bottles.

Do any of you have favorite projects that your former students always seem to remember? I’d love to use them in my classroom!

Enjoy your weekend!
Alyce

Attachments

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Favorite Projects: It's a simple project, but one of my students' favorites was having bird feeders in the classroom window (both a seed feeder and a hummingbird feeder). The students set them up, maintained the feeders and kept a running bird ID list. We arranged for donated bird seed from a local vender. Some students would come in early to school, just to fill the bird feeders. Gave the students an excuse to look outside the classroom frequently! :-) We also took local field trips to wildlife refugues and worked on bird ID. We did urban bird ID walks too. Purchased a classroom set of binoculars with a school district grant. Students still fondly recall all the local birds they learned about and saw outside the classroom. I'm hopeful that they will continue to enjoy birdwatching all their life. You need to work with your custodians and grounds staff, as some object to the mess of seeds on the ground and/or weed seeds that the birds may deposit with droppings. We had a wonderfully supportive custodian/grounds staff member. He kept the feeders going all summer for us! Simple project .... lots of learning impact. This project was done when I was teaching at an At-Risk High School in Texas. We were housed in an old kindergarten building. Great big windows, wooden floors and low sinks and fixtures :-). Dorothy Ginnett

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

More Student Favorites: Our school had old flowerboxes below the windows, that looked sad and underutilized. As a service-learning project for part of a plant unit my students planted flowers in all the school flower boxes outside the classroom windows. They were responsible to care for the plants as they grew (watering, etc.). The students also recorded growth data and we had fresh flowers to examine under a microscope. In addition, some of the flowers attracted hummingbirds, which were fun to see. A wonderful side benefit for the students was all the appreciation and thanks they received from the school staff, teachers and other students for making the school a more beautiful place. This was an inexpensive project (seeds and some topsoil). We grew our own plant learning lab and the students did a great service for their school. This project was done while I was teaching at an At-Risk High School in Texas. We were on a migratory bird route, so saw some wonderful hummingbird species. Dorothy Ginnett

Sherene McDonald Sherene McDonald 22305 Points

I would like to thank you all for sharing this is such a wonderful center, where I have a vast variety of resources at finger tips. I teach 6th grade science, 7th grade science and health to a total of 6 classes and I must say that this learning center covers everything. Thank you all for your time and consideration in advance. Sherene A. McDonald

Netosh Jones Netosh Jones 4680 Points

Hi I would be interested in hearing what activities educators are planning for the upcoming Environmental Week--April 10-16, 2011. I'm particular interested in hands-on-inquiry for elementary level K-4. thanks nj

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Welcome to the Environmental Science Thread Sherene & Netosh!! We end up having so much fun in this forum - and we bounce around from topic to topic at a fast rate. Sherene - I'm so glad you discovered the Learning Center! You are right, NSTA has over 5,000 resources to support us in our classroom, professional development, and resource needs. Do you teach general science classes, or is your district focused on a different discipline for each grade level? Let us know some of your future units, and I know that folks will respond. Netosh - great call asking for Environmental Week inquiry ideas! As folks start posting those, I am curious if you have had a chance to visit the official 2011 EW website? If not, go to: http://eeweek.org/ocean_connections to download free lesson plans, sign-up for their newsletters or request free materials! Let us know what you find interesting. Enjoy your week, Alyce

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers Elizabeth Dalzell 9945 Points

Sherene what a great idea that you plant flowers in the boxes! I have a plant growth cart that I use throughout the year, but I love that idea. I am wondering since I don't have boxes out front already, if our shop teacher could build them, and then science students can plant them. What kind of flowers did you use? Thanks Liz

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Flowerboxes - We did this project in Southwest Texas, so planted flowers that could tolerate the heat and dry climate. Just pick beautiful flowers that are easy care for your local climate. Dorothy Ginnett

Dat Le Dat Le 21565 Points

Anyone with ideas on ways to partner with nonprofits environmental agency for student internships? This will be good hands on experience for my senior env. science students.

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers Elizabeth Dalzell 9945 Points

Hi Dat Le If you contact your local Division of Wildlife they have a TON of exciting opportunities for young adults and educators. What grade do you teach? In Colorado the DOW is needing volunteers throught the year to track wildlife, capture/tag birds, count fish etc... Also check with your Game, Fish and Parks division. Thanks Liz

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Hi Friends,
I was delighted to discover that the United Nations sponsors World Water Day , an annual event being held on March 22nd. 2011's focus is Water for Cities:Responding to the Urban Challenge. Water Day is a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

There are several ways for students to make a difference for those who don’t have access to life’s most basic needs - safe drinking water and latrines. To get started, visit Water 1st’s Youth Involvement website and request an informative DVD concerning water issues in the developing world. Next, you can “adopt a community” in need of clean water infrastructure. Finally, look on the website to learn about what other schools are doing to tackle this issue and come up with your school’s own strategy for making a difference.

Enjoy, Alyce

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers Elizabeth Dalzell 9945 Points

Hey Group, Alyce thanks for brining up the Water Day... My students are currently in teams of 4 (it is an afterschool club) and I have about 6 teams. Their challenge is to find a world water problem, develop a solution and put together a presentation for a panel of judges. Our final presentation night is at the end of February. I have students do a mock trial, interview, rap song, live from the field... the possibilities are endless! I have my files at school but will upload the information if you are interested. Thanks Liz

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Elizabeth,
United Nation's sponsored World Water Day site will be perfect for the students in your afterschool Eco Club!

I'd love to see the ideas you have developed. Teachers often are able to tweak good ideas to work for their students and teaching style. You Eco Club lessons sound as if they would provide a perfect opportunity to integrate other content areas into science learning!

Readers of this thread may be interested in visiting the postings on Practical Reading Strategies for the Science Classroom. I've recently provided links for supporting our struggling science learners in writing and reading skills.

Thread readers, let us hear about your favorite part of the Water Day site!
Alyce

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Free Conservation Biology book "When the last living thing has died on account of us, how poetical it would be, if Earth could say, in a voice floating, perhaps from the floor of the Grand Canyon 'It is done...People did not like it here.'" -Kurt Vonnegut > Dear all, > > Apparently in support of this year being the International Year for > Biodiversity, Oxford University Press is making a Conservation Biology > textbook freely available. > > Please pass this email on to as many schools, wildlife clubs and > others as you can and/or print it and give it!! > > PS-Please post and disseminate to other networks and colleagues!! > > Download the 350 pp book free at: > http://www.mongabay.com/conservation-biology-for-all.html > > Sodhi, N. S. and P. R. Ehrlich (Eds.) Conservation Biology for All. > Oxford University Press (2010)

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

There was a large crowd of over 100 educators at the webinar on Polinator Live and how to create and to incorporate school yard gardens into the learning environment. One participant mentioned the 'chocolate cake' nectar plants that Pat Sutton talked about when she was associated with the Cape May Bird Observatory. Pat now gives seminars throughout the US, and many along with tours of local backyard habitats in NJ. I thought that I would share some of her information here for those interested in examining some cultivars that are special as both nectar and host plants for butterflies, moth, and hummingbirds. ~patty

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers Elizabeth Dalzell 9945 Points

Patricia, Thanks for the information about the free conservation book, and attachments regarding building a garden. That was a great seminar on starting gardens with your students. Liz

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Thanks, Liz. The free book is being shared on many e-bird state groups of birders and the directive is to share, share, share -- so please pass it along. Also, the webinar was great and I spoke with a teacher in CO who is an informal educator involved in establishing beehives and she is very interested in future webinars, too, and hopes that they will focus on the trials and tribulations experienced by this species. I pulled together a collection of articles etc and will share it here. I hope it will encourage other teachers to think about extending the learning environment beyond school walls and into the outer environment, even if they start with 2-liter bottle gardens. Let's see if I can attach the nascent collection here. It's connected. Enjoy and thanks for sharing. Patty R

Backyard Habitats: Real World Inquiry Collection (11 items)
Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

hmmm..the collection attached but it does not appear --please let me try again --I see Backyard Habitats: Real World Inquiry Collection before I post it--I hope it appears like this after I post...patty I only see 'open in new window at the bottom' maybe the 11 items are too large for viewing.

Backyard Habitats: Real World Inquiry Collection (11 items)
Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

I was at a science meeting this past weekend and one of the participants was a chemist who asked that we encourage teachers to visit the water.chemistry site and to become involved with the globarl water testing project as part of the International Year of Chemistry. I am sharing this information: http://www.chemistry2011.org/ Global Experiment Water: A Chemical Solution Water–A Chemical Solution: A Global Experiment for the International Year of Chemistry is an activity that unites students around the globe to participate in activities that highlight the role that chemistry plays in issues of water quality and purification. update 16 Feb 2011 - Visit the website of the Global Water Experiment @ water.chemistry2011.org and sign up now to follow that site updates, activities launch, etc. - update 2 Feb 2011 - The team has released the four experiments: No Dirt, No Germs, pH of the Planet, Salty Waters, and Solar Stills Challenge. Check out also the videos released about the experiments. - Primary school to high school students are invited to explore one of the Earth’s most critical resources, water. The students will report their findings on water quality and water treatment on an online map, allowing them to compare results and connect with other students around the world. ~patty

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Teachers of environmental science may wish to visit the Learning Resources & Opportunities pages and review the upcoming webinar on the life and ecology of Brant. Good ideas for teaching may come to mind as you enjoy engaging in conversations with NOAA experts and other educators. ~ patty Biological monitoring, the Incredible Life of Brant This presentation will cover the biology, ecology, and incredible life cycle of a migrating sea goose known as Brant. We will discuss their long journey along the Pacific Flyway which spans from their nesting grounds in the arctic of Alaska, Canada, and Russia to their favorite wintering grounds in the estuaries and lagoons of British Columbia, the United States, and Mexico. We will talk about the many attributes of the Brant and why they are such captivating creatures to watch and study. The presentation will also delve into the threats Brant face including habitat loss, hunting, and the affects of a changing climate. We will talk about the importance of eelgrass, the main food source of Brant, and why eelgrass is diminishing. This presentation will also describe the International Brant Monitoring Project, an educational project linking students with wildlife managers and scientists from Alaska to Mexico. Students take field trips to identify and count Brant then share their data and enthusiasm via the Internet with other enthusiasts, students, scientists and wildlife managers. Register Today!

John Hoopman John Hoopman 6250 Points

If you are an earth or life science teacher you will be interested to know that the theme for Environmental Education Week 2011 is Ocean Connections. (April 10-16, 2011)

Recognizing and exploring our vital connection to the ocean, including the importance of protecting the health of our ocean, will be the focus with teachers and students nationwide




Plymouth, Wisconsin is about as far from an ocean as it gets, however, we cover ocean systems and environments in eighth grade. We focus on how both systems and environments are used as resources. Right now I have a WebQuest that has students assume the role of a scientist examining different issues regarding our use of ocean resources. As of now, those systems and environments include: shorelines, intertidal zones, reefs, kelp forests, sargasso sea and other more polluted gyres, and deep sea systems like cold seeps and hydrothermal vents. Feel free to use and critique anything you find after the link, and a big thanks for all the ocean resources posted above.

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

John, You are indeed a distance from the ocean, but not from the Great Lakes. So many of the research methodologies used in oceanographic studies is also used for the study of the Great Lakes. There is a tremendous body of research being compiled that could be used in a webquest that would relate to the students' own environment. UWM has the Water Institute as well, with a wealth of information. Not only that, they are close enough for a field trip!

Leslie Gividen Leslie Gividen 6880 Points

We are very lucky in our area of Kentucky. Our Fish and Wildlife folks come to our classrooms to teach many concepts. They bring the materials and teach the class. Our most recent visit they brought in a stream table and demonstrated runoff and how the streams and wildlife are affected if not protected.

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

The American Bald Eagles believe that spring is coming. This is real-life video for spring 2011 available for all educators and those interested in avain ecology. Take a look at the Duke Farms Eagle Cam. Just this afternoon (Feb. 27) the first egg was confirmed! You can view it here: http://wildnewjersey.tv/2011/02/28/first.aspx Good Birding as you explore with this real-time opportunity with your students. Patty R

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Black bear den Webcam

More fun online wildlife viewing! Lily and Hope Den Cam at the North American Bear Center, MN.

Live webcam of mamma bear, Lily, plus her yearling, Hope, and at least one small cub in the den. I actually may have glimpsed 3 baby cubs!

They are already fairly active in the den.
http://www.bear.org/livecams/lily-hope-cam.html

Lily even has a facebook page http://www.facebook.com/lily.the.black.bear

Enjoy!

Dorothy Ginnett

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Springtime --oh perhaps a bit ahead --check out the black bear cams the "Lily The Bear Cam," a live Web cam of a black bear in hibernation in Minnesota, was in high demand today, as thousands tried to watch the bear's den upon news of an impending birth. Lily The Bear did give birth to a cub today just before Noon today. An official Twitter update noted a few hours later, "Mother and cub are resting peacefully." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/22/lily-the-bear-cam-capture_n_433431.html article on the birth of the cub the education website on Lily and the research in which she and her cubs are involved. http://www.bear.org/livecams/lily-hope-cam.html I can not doubt that students would not find this anthropological study a carrot that opens the door to other things in the natural world. Enjoy ~ patty

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

Fantastic website Dorothy! Thank you so much.

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

I just received this notice from JASON, and thought some of you might be interested in learning more about the crittercam from the inventor. A snippet of the text of the email follows: JASON Live! Ask your questions of Greg Marshall... live! Greg Marshall Have you ever wondered what wild animals do when people aren't around? National Geographic scientist Greg Marshall invented a research tool called Crittercam to find out. Safely worn by animals such as penguins, sharks, and lions, Crittercam captures video, sound, and other data from an animal's-eye view. The information gathered by Crittercam gives scientists new clues about how the host animals behave, where they live, what they eat, and more. Be sure to tune in to the live webcasts today, March 8, 2011 at 11:30am, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, or 6:30pm ET and join Crittercam inventor Greg Marshall to ask him questions and learn more about this amazing research tool! Learn more and watch live today! [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=vpovdhcab&et=1104761090075&s=6..._eB9xmk='' target="_blank">http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=vpovdhcab&et=1104761090075&s=6...I_eB9xmk=' target="_blank">http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=vpovdhcab&et=1104761090075&s=6...5I_eB9xmk='' target="_blank">http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=vpovdhcab&et=1104761090075&s=6...5I_eB9xmk=' target="_blank">http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=vpovdhcab&et=1104761090075&s=6...5I_eB9xmk=]

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

More about birds and using Digital Cameras to Inspire Young Naturalists- notes from a Minnesota program that encourages teachers and students to explore the outdoors.

I'm essentially going to type the text from an article from 'birding briefs' from BirdWatching (formerly Birder's World), April 2011, p 13

According to Carrol Henderson, the nongame wildlife program supervisor for Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources, taking a walk to look for birds is too passive for many young people today. But put a digital camera in their hands, he says, and they're quickly transformed into nature enthusiasts.

"They slow down, they watch, they listen," he says. "They look for signs of nature and themes like camouflage, bird nests, or pollination that can be incorporated into classroom activities."

To tap into the enthusiasm, Henderson and a group of biologists, educators, and photographers developed a program called Digital Photography Bridge to Nature, a fist-of-its-kind effort in the nation. It takes a teach-the-teachers approach to nature education, delivering workshops to teachers of grades 3-9 and state park naturalists.

After teachers attend a workshop, they can borrow 'learning trunks' that include 12 digital cameras and an assortment of field guides for use on photo safaris with their students. Safaris can be held in schoolyards, city or state parks, or anywhere children can study leaves, butterflies, birds, and flowers. (Think of all of those backyard school gardens so many of us are involved with.)

"Younger children might be encouraged to photograph the alphabet by finding creatures or plants that start with letters of the alphabet." says Henderson. "Others may look for themes in nature, signs of the changing seasons, or phenology."

Teachers are encouraged to incorporate the photography program into curricula they already teach, such as math, science, art, and geography. The workshops and all materials are free. One classroom shot 4000 images during a field trip and created an iMovie as a class project.
"It is our hope," Henderson adds, "that this will stimulate a lifelong interest in the outdoors through photography as a hobby. Birds certainly become a major opportunity area for those photographic efforts, especially at sites like bird-feeding stations in schoolyards or state parks."

I, Patty, do not have specific contact info for Carroll Henderson but I but that if you google him and the MN dept of natural resources, all of you MN folks might be able to connect with him and if you are not from MN maybe be able to look more carefully at their resources.

Thanks for reading this relatively long post and for following up if you wish. Please share anything that you find out. I remember posting an article from Science Scope where children did science projects with digital cameras, too. I'm sure I could post that resource again and in this forum if anyone is interested. Give me a holler.

Spring is coming and winter and fall are great times for outdoor excursions, too.
Patty R

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Here's the url for the BirdWatching magazine if you are interested: www.BirdWatchingDaily.com patty

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Alyce reminds us that spring is coming!! and Migration is already underway. The first Piping Plovers are on the East Coast beaches, the Ospreys are eying nesting sites, and the warblers and hummers are coming. David Sibley, whom some of you may know, has a great set of books published on bird identification. David also wirtes a column for BirdWatching. This month's issue invites you to examine an ID Toolkit: Treetop Warblers. Read David Sibley's April 2008 column online. It describes how to use tail shape and pattern to identify treetop warblers. Looking at the jizz of the bird (shape, size, and conformation) is helpful in identifying species. Of course, hearing the song helps, too. enjoy http://www.BirdWatchingDaily.com ~patty

Chester Orban Chester Orban 2310 Points

Yes, the birds are back. Or, at least they are slowly visiting us here in Southeastern New Hampshire. Some of the best songs can be heard on the edge of wooded areas. It is a bit difficult to identify some of the birds by sight because they are in cover. However learning some of the songs is something I highly suggest. It is not as difficult as you may think. FIrst, go to : http://www.enature.com/birding/audio.asp It is a great site and you can download the song. They, look up : taxonomy of Birs SOngs. You can make up a key of sound for birds, by the intonnations of how they make up the songs. Virtually a dicotomy of identification. Lastly, after you id the birds, then look up what they eat. This will give you an indication of the flora and fauna that is beginning to "Rise form their winters sleep" so to speak. Best regards Chet

Angie Fairweather Angelika Fairweather 12180 Points

The website Chester recommends has an audio file for each bird song. I think the idea Chester mentioned would be a fantastic lesson for students. Perhaps you could rig the experience by making a recording of a bird and play it from a hidden location. Then students could use the site to match the bird calls and then research the ecological factors connected to the bird.

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Chester, thanks so much for posting the bird song site. I have some really interesting bird sound phonetics if anyone is interested; for example, a Goldfinch is a potato chip with a dip - Perchickaree or potatochip Anyway, I'm really interested in what you do with bird sounds with your students. Please tell us something about how you use avian ecology and/or field studies with bird song. Thanks a bunch, I'm sure others are interested in what you have to share,too. Killdeer = Kill-deer, kill-deer or ki-dee, ki-dee/ Dee dee dee Having fun --I look forward to your reply. Thanks again for sharing Chester. Where and what do you teach? ~patty

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Bird Song Resources: Yes, it's so wonderful that spring is arriving and the birds are starting to sing. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Page.aspx?pid=1478 also has some terrific bird identification, bird song and citizen science resources. Dorothy

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

The FAR reach of the Tsunami of March 10, 2011 As educators, all of us empathize with the sad destruction of human habitat by natural causes such as the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeast coast of Japan. We are both saddened and intrigued by the visual images of the actual effect of the ocean's waters and the earth's trembling. We also want to offer support and help however we can. As an individual, I am also quite saddened by the destruction of habitats for wildlife, especially the three species of Albatross who call Midway National Wildlife Refuge home for dancing, breeding, and raising chicks. A chick of this season, calls a Laysan Albatross Mom and she is 60 years old. You can read about this mom and chick. Also, for the first time, a pair of Short-tailed Albatross met, danced, built a nest, and nurtured an egg that became a chick - the first ever Short-tailed Albatross to be born outside a small island off the coast of Japan. As of yet, we do not know the status of this chick or of the thousands of Laysan Albatross and Black-footed Albatross that breed on Midway atoll and other smaller islands in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. The Short-tailed is one of the most endangered birds in the world, if not the most endangered. If you wish to learn more about Albatross and their chicks, I invite you to visit MNWR via their website. I've included a few words from it below. Midway, part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, is one of the world's most spectacular wildlife experiences. Nearly two million birds call it home for much of each year, including the world's largest population of Laysan Albatrosses, or "gooney birds". Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles and spinner dolphins frequent Midway's crystal blue lagoon Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge Short-Tailed Albatross Chick Hatches at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge - A first for short-tailed albatross in recorded history (January 14, 2011) An important– and hopeful– milestone in the conservation of the endangered short-tailed albatross was recorded today at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. A short-tailed albatross hatched on Eastern Island, one of three small flat coral islands that comprise Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge about 1,200 miles northwest of Honolulu. This marks the first confirmed hatching of a short-tailed albatross outside of Japan in recorded history. Thank you for visiting and sharing the life of endangered avian species. Patty

Chester Orban Chester Orban 2310 Points

Concerning an analogy for "OCEAN CONNECTIONS", I use to use : 'The Oceans are the Earth's Heat sink, and Cooling Sink', and the Currents are the pipes. I taught Oceanography, and Marine Bio from the late 80s to 2005, and I used this as my theme. Chet

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Tsunami and Earthquake Hi Patty - Thanks for sharing the updates on biodiversity impacts of the recent tsunami and earthquake on the birds of Midway Island. I'm sure we will hear much more about biodiversity impacts in Japan too, as scientists begin to access the damage to ecosystems and wildlife. Were there supposed to be live website links in your postings about bird species on Midway and the tsunami/earthquake? If so, they are not appearing as active links. Could you repost those links? Thanks! The topics look intersting. There is also an article on NSTA's home page today 3/18 on: Teachable Moments: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami http://www.nsta.org/publications/news/story.aspx?id=58295 Dorothy

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Dear Environmental Friends,
I must let you all know what a difference you have made in the life of one of my students!! Lexi is a young woman of 12 years who is a budding naturalist! My students and I have been viewing the sites that all of you have been posting the past few weeks. Everyday Lexi has been slowly entering my classroom - with excitement, laughter, and curiosity rolling from her mouth. Lexi and her 14 classmates simultaneously inquire about the day's webcam shots - an eagle, cub bear or the 360 degree shot of Utah's mountains? Lexi has cerebral palsy, and no matter how tired she is...she NEVER chooses to miss science!

On Friday she entered class, anxious to remove molds from an animal print casts she had poured a few days earlier. As I was gathering her materials she began to excitedly unveil her recent amazon.com purchase - a webcam!! Lexi's parents were so thrilled with her animated and enthusiastic retellings of the day's webcam adventures - they purchased an incubator and were in the process of obtaining fertilized eggs. The family is planning to place the webcam near her incubating eggs so that when they begin to hatch, she won't miss a minute of excitement.

All of your postings have made a difference in Lexi's life. We have lit her curiosity in nature - a passion that I hope she relishes for years to come!

Enjoy your week, Alyce

Hello Alyce - Thank you so much for sharing that heartwarming story about Lexi and her interest in watching wildlife via webcams. It's amazing how that one new thing can sometimes really spark a student's interest and ignite a lifelong passion for wildlife and nature. I love how this use of technology really connected with this student who has cerebral palsy and enhanced her experience of the excitement of scientific discovery. I'm so pleased to hear that Lexi's parents are setting up a home webcam for her to enjoy. Incubating eggs are a fantastic idea. Perhaps in the future, they can set up a wild bird nest box to use with the webcam. There are so many amazing ways to use webcams to view wildlife. The family will get a lot of pleasure out of this technology over the years watching wildlife. Of course, the best result will be Lexi’s smiles and excitement! Dorothy

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Repeat Performance -- Try dropping into the nest during the morning hours in Iowa. I understand two eggs have hatched. It is a bit unusual to have 3 chicks, I believe. Hi All! Back to the Eagles and their chicks. You might like to watch the live stream of a pair of American Bald Eagles in their nest at Decorah, IA. The eggs are hatching. Over 4 million viewers have watched the progress. It is on day and night. There is a live blog, and also, scroll down to see amazing facts regarding these magnificent birds. Note: There is a short commercial at the beginning, but well worth the wait for it to finish. http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles

Dorian Janney Dorian Janney 10465 Points

Repeat Performance -- Try dropping into the nest during the morning hours in Iowa. I understand two eggs have hatched. It is a bit unusual to have 3 chicks, I believe.

Wow Patty- that is amazing! My students will be entranced with this site- absolutely incredible! I had read about this website in our local newspaper, but hadn't had time to look at it yet.

Thanks- technology can really open us up to some fabulous opportunities!

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 63625 Points

I could really see using this site for a short term study on animal behavior with my biology classes. It is a wonderful field trip without ever having to leave the classroom. Thanks for sharing the link. :)

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Webcams and Virtual Field Trips:

Hi Everyone -

If you are interested in using Webcams or Virtual Field trips in your classroom, I recommend you check out the General Science and Teaching discussion forum thread on Virtual Field Trips. There are some excellent Webcam and Virtual Field Trip links posted.

Dorothy

Dale Hanson Dale Hanson 55 Points

I think it is interesting, and most appropriate that the Environmental Education Week Theme is "Oceans Connections." Last night I heard a right wing media commentator say that there was talk about global cooling related to the ocean currents, claiming that was contrary to a warming theory. Whether he new it or not he was talking about the world wide circulation of ocean waters, also known as the global conveyor belt, warmed near the equator, and one part of the circulation going to the North Atlantic. The fear of course is melt water from the Arctic and Greenland ice fields, cooler and fresh water, will stop the warm circulating water farther south than it normally extends. This then would cause cooling of Europe and perhaps portions of Canada and United States, caused initially by warming. I think this is exactly the kind of scientific issue we need to be teaching our students, so they can sort through all the misinformation they must hear everyday. Submitted by Dale Hanson, Wisconsin.

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Hi All, Thanks for your continuing interest into Eagle Cams and the ecology and history of our American Eagles. I do not want to inundate you but students and teachers in VA and along the East Coast are taking full advantage of the educational benefits of another site sponsored by the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. I'll post the infomation below and I also uploaded the file as a resource so that others may put it in their libraries for future use. by Joe Flanagan 13NEWS / WVEC.com; Updated Wednesday, Jan 19 at 9:55 AM Related: • WVEC.com Eagle Cam NORFOLK -- Eaglecam is back up and running for another season. The eagles at Norfolk Botanical Garden decided to build a new nest. The camera had to change to a new tree with a different angle. It has been five seasons and fifteen fledglings this same eagle pair has produced. "Well for what we know of the Chesapeake Bay, with a lot of the work that has been done by DGIF (Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries) and the Center for Conservation Biology, this pair is probably one of the most productive eagle pairs in the Chesapeake Bay area," said Steven Living with the Department Of Game and Inland Fisheries. Residents in every state in the union and also a number of foreign countries have now logged on to Eaglecam. Teachers like to point out items of interest to students. "And the characteristics change. For example they both moulted in new feathers. Last year she had a black feather on top of her head and this year he has a black feather on top of his head. So that's one of the things to look for," said Reese Lukei, a research biologist. Not only can you watch their everyday lives, but you can also visit Norfolk Botanical Garden to see them in person. "Have a lot of opportunity for people to see the cam here in the visitors center. They get to go out to the nest we will do some walking tours later in the spring," said Perry Mathewes, Director of Educational Programming at Norfolk Botanical Garden. There is an accompanying segment that allows questions and posts from students and teachers and the folks at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens are quite good with the students. Here is the website for the Norfolk Eagle Webcam http://www.wvec.com/marketplace/microsite-content/eagle-cam.html There are slide shows and a list of great resources on ecology and biology for teachers and students of all ages. Please share your ideas on how to use this in the classroom and to have students access it. We would all love to learn about your strategies and applications. :) Enjoy - Patty

Attachments

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Hey Dale, Thank you for your insightful comment on current issues and misconceptions aborad in the public and perhaps with our students. Personally, I would be delighted if you could share a bit of your classroom experience in teaching students about global warming and possible effects on ocean currents and other trends. What resources do you use? Have you looked at any of the NSTA resources? Hmmm..what level do you teach? Please tell us a bit more about your personal teaching environment and what you do in the classroom with this topic. We all would be interested and benefit from your peer coaching. Thanks so much for replying. Cheers:) ~ patty

Dale Hanson Dale Hanson 55 Points

Patricia: Thanks for your interest. I am currently not teaching; I started my career teaching high school vocational agriculture, then worked in the soil and water conservation field for a number of years. Now I am working towards a masters degree in environmental education, and hope to get back into teaching. Part of my masters work has been on a study of the greenhouse effect. That included a literature review and investigation about what high school seniors know about the greenhouse effect. According to the literature review, high school seniors are not aware of how the greenhouse effect works. I think, in teaching about modern climate change, we need to start with the greenhouse effect. If a student or any member of our community does not understand how the earth warms, how the earth uses the energy from the sun (the greenhouse effect), they can not fully understand climate change. I have completed several observations on my own: closed up a greenhouse on a hot day and monitored the temperature; buried a thermometer in a small pile of soil in the direct sunlight to monitor the temperature in comparison to the air temperature. These kind of observations help students realize the earth warms, and then warms the atmosphere, not the other way around. I hope, when I have finished my masters to get a teaching position in environmental education. I hope this answers some of your questions. Let me know. Dale

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Greetings Dale, Thank you for your response and how exciting to be studying for a masters degree at this point in time. Citizens and politicians are more aware of the impact of policy on the environment than in preceeding decades and you will have the opportunity to educate future policy makers and voters. I concur that learning about greenhouse effects are fundamental to examining the flow of energy within our biosphere, both locally and globally. Your approach seems to be a great way to get students to think about why they should care about how energy is transferred in their world. Dale, the NSTA LC has some wonderful collections of resources that you may find useful in your graduate work and in future work with students. The collections are compilations of material that offers background information for teacher and student content in addition to strategies and methods that teachers may adopt in the classroom. There are some interactive learning sites referenced, too. Have you had the opportunity to browse any of these resources? If not, an advanced search will enable you to find them or I would be delighted to carry on our conversation and share a few of these resources with you. We could even chat in real time on line if you wish. I am on Live Support Online on Monday and Tuesday evenings between 7 pm and 9 pm eastern time. But hey! I don't want to put any strictures on our chatting with each other and would be absolutely pleased to explore some of these NSTA resources with you. Also, I would really encourage you to write a short recommendation if you find any of these resources helpful to you as a graduate student and possible helpful to you as a teacher in the environmental content area. The reviews can be short and to the point; they are not meant to be lengthy. I am enjoying our conversation and hope to continue it, Dale. Thanks for your response. I'll look forward to hearing from you again. Perhaps others will jump into this conversation thread as well. Patty

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Climate Change Teaching Resources.

Use real data on ice sheets to teach about climate change!

Check out the article Idea Bank: Climate Change Inquiries at http://learningcenter.nsta.org/search.aspx?action=quicksearc...inquiries. This article provides some great resources to help you teach an inquiry based lesson plan on global climate change using scientific data

Also the article provides links to the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) K-12 Data Portal at https://cms.cresis.ku.edu/education/k-12/online-data-portal. Background information and lesson plans with sample questions and graphs are provided at the K-12 Data Portal. The data set is formatted for K-12 classroom use so does not require teacher processing.

Another recommended website site in this article that can be used to connect teachers and students with polar scientists on the web is PolarTrec at www.polartrec.com

Have fun! These resources are a great way for your students to connect with real global science.

Dorothy

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Hi All!, I hope folks are finding time to go outside the box a bit and look at resources that may be applicable to future classroom teaching. The webinar from last week -The NOAA Ocean Data Education (NODE) Project April 14, 2011, Web Seminar Resources has wonderful teaching information on acidification and ocean environments. The new way of archiving webinar information by putting the collection in your personal library is nifty, too. Here is the url in the Learning Center that will take you to the collection from the webinar. Enjoy! http://learningcenter.nsta.org/my_learning_center/my_library.aspx?cid=MHWErf5X5dQ= If you are interested in sharing this collection via email, just send me a note (use the new LC email tool --it's pretty neat too.) I'll be happy to share the collection with you and to chat about the content. If you have not tried the email within the LC yet, go ahead an click on Live Support Online - the icon shown above and an advisor will share the how to use tool with you. Cheers, Patty

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everyone on Friday April 22nd!

What are you doing in your K-12 clssrooms? Is anyone doing special Earth Day activities in your classroom or at your school?

The 2011 EarthDay theme from Earthday.org is "A Billion Acts of Green". Check out their website for more information and teaching ideas
http://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2011

A fun online activity for students is to calculate their Ecological Footprint.
I find students really like the Ecological Footprint calculator at Footpring Network.org http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/calculators/

They can create their own Avatar and it is a very visual and interactive site.

Dorothy

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28235 Points

One Year Anniversary of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster:

Heard on the news this morning, Wed. April 20th, that it is the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Good time to reflect upon the disaster and progress in environmental clean-up with students.

Gulf Struggles to Recover One Year after Disaster (MSNBC.com. 4/20/11) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42678819/ns/us_news-environment/

Dorothy

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 89713 Points

Dorothy posted, "Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everyone on Friday April 22nd!

What are you doing in your K-12 clssrooms? Is anyone doing special Earth Day activities in your classroom or at your school?"

One of my favorite activities to do as a demo with the students is the "Earth Apple" activity, Dorothy. This particular web write up has excellent probing questions to ask your students as you carry out the demo. With such a tiny piece of the peel left to represent usable land for growing food, it is an impressive visual. Please note: if the Earth as an Apple pdf doesn't work, you can access the pdf in my Earth Day Resources and Activities Collection.
Carolyn

Tina Alcain Tina Alcain 3305 Points

Wow! There was so much for me to learn in this discussion! I wish it would snow in Hawaii so I could go take pictures of snowflakes. But since it doesn't snow here, I have to do other activities in class. I enjoyed reading about the cameras they have set up to watch the different kinds of birds you have in your different states and wish our students could do that here as well. We have the native Nene goose, but naturalists try not to disturb them any more than they need to so cameras are probably out of the question. We are just about finished with our unit on Classification and Taxonomy, and we are moving on to Vertebrates next. I am only focusing on fishes because that's what we have most of here in Hawaii and my year-end culminating actvity is a Fish Printing (Gyotaku)/Dissection Lab. We are going to do things a little differently than other Science classes because we will print the fish with water-based paint and we are going to dissect the fish as soon as we can after we print them. Then we are going to clean them all up and fry them up so we can have a meal. Sustainability is very important here in Hawaii and my students didn't want to do the lab and throw away the fish. So we have to work fast and be clean and eat them all up when we're done. Thank you everyone for all the great ideas to incorporate into my classroom.

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41070 Points

by Tina Alcain, April 22, 2:46 AM
I enjoyed reading about the cameras they have set up to watch the different kinds of birds you have in your different states and wish our students could do that here as well.

Hi Tina and welcome to the Environmental Science discussion forum! The Whale Song Project plays live whales from right off of Maui. While it's not a camera, your students might really enjoy listening to these magnificent mammals right off their coast. I was thrilled to see that you are eating the fish after you print them! What a great way to teach your students to be good stewards of our planet. Are you also going to include cross curricular ties to Japanese history or geography when you do the fish prints? Please let us know how the project goes.

Best of Luck,
Maureen