“It’s Your Experiment!” High School Science Teacher Conference 2008 (Oct 24th & 25th)

From the Michael Smith Laboratories

some resources

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We can use the Bill Rees powerpoint/talk

And the start of our graphical interface:

Graphic Interface for the Sustainability resource

Your Industry:

Problem facing your group:

General Info about your industry/issue

Pro/Con of your industry (from an environmental perspective)

Proposal for Change

How will you present it to the class?

Note: the proposal will be evaluated to the class and then you can use the feedback to reshape your proposal

Final Proposal

How will you explain this proposal to your community?


Written by teamredred

October 25, 2008 at 11:52 am

Tools for project

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What do we need to give the kids so that they can do the project?

We need graphic organizers…

  • Problem
  • General Research
  • Pro/Con
  • Analysis
  • Proposal for change – be able to answer questions about short term and long term effects
  • Present proposal

Can we marry cool activities with the above format? Do we want activities or just have it be about discussion/debate?

Class can evaluate each proposal.  Maybe go back to the drawing board after critique.

Do examples for each industry – plus add someone worried about healthy water (hits bioaccumulation area).

Looking at a simulation.

Could put students answers on website.

This is chunk of unit so could start under the umbrella or biodiversity.

How much can we push to change and how much can people handle?

Written by teamredred

October 25, 2008 at 11:36 am

Our main topic

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We hope to focus on sustainability from the first talk…

Use case studies, have the students research certain topics (probably from first talk).

Sustainability of Ecosystems from grade 10

Textbook goes over sustainability and biodiversity but skims – would be nice to have kids research

Bring in things like biodiversity, oh deer activity, case studies, create a model system

The B3 under Sustainability of Ecosystems looks best = explain various ways in which natural populations are altered or kept in equilibrium

Format: non-competitive math fairs = students get a problem, parameters to help solve and then communicate results so that others can solve it

groups of 3 who become experts then explain it to others = carousel and jigsaw

two approaches (related): groups of students become ‘experts’ and then do one of two things:

  1. give two questions to teacher; teacher makes worksheet with all questions; students have to answer all the questions
  2. students come up with activity to teach classmates

OR we could create a resource-based town (like PG) where every student is given a different role – forestry manager, forester, fisheries, mining, fuels, tourism, etc. – they need to research their roles and then come up  with a consensus document on a sustainable plan for their town OR how would an environmental plan affect their position OR become an example of poor practices – what can they do

What about starting with clip from Rees to say that the resources will only last X number of years – what will the town do?

Written by teamredred

October 25, 2008 at 11:23 am

Starting Lesson Plans

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We need to match the activity to PLOs to make them most useful to teachers. Connie (from Science World) has brought in the PLOs for high school at the back of the room.

There are many different ways to include information for a lesson plan. Connie has some suggestions:

  • Title
  • Authors
  • Grade Level
  • Prescribed Learning Outcomes
  • Materials
  • Strategy
  • Next steps – things that don’t quite fit

Our topic hits many sections including science 8, science 10, biology 11…

Maybe do an activity to correct using the new classifications of Kingdom, Phyla, etc. Let’s tie it into the bigger picture – include the visual picture at the beginning of Keeling’s talk.

Written by teamredred

October 25, 2008 at 10:42 am

Useful blog info!

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To login use the link on the left hand sidebar.

Login using the “team…” username. Don’t forget the “…team” password.

Once you’re in, you see what wordpress calls the “dashboard.” The dashboard is something that allows you to look at the activity incoming to the website. i.e. people leaving comments, other websites linking to the site, etc.

To create content, you’ll want to “write a post”. Here you can click on “write” (at the bar near the top), or just use the “write a post” button.

Once you get to the “write” page, this is where you can add a title, and type content in the box. This is pretty straightforward (kind of like using microsoft office).

Adding links

Adding links is pretty easy. Essentially type away (something like “click here to see…”) – Then highlight the word you want for the linking (say “here”), and press the link button above. This will take you to a smaller window, where you write in the website address.

Finding images

There’s lots of ways to find an image, but if you want the ability to publicly share your work. You need to be aware of copyright issues. In the world of web, the mechanisms looking after this is known as “creative commons.” Essentially, this allows people to present their work (be it a photograph, writing, audio, movie, etc) and provide copyright instructions related to how the public can use the image. In this respect, there are two great photo sites worth showing.

1. Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/).

Flickr is cool. It’s a huge (and I mean huge) community of photographers all around world placing their work online. Many folks use it as their central harddrive for keeping images. If you search on Flickr, just enter the keyword at the top. Then what will happen, is that you will get a list of images where that tag word has been used.

Now before you use an image, you also have to filter these images to ensure that copyright isn’t an issue. To do this – click the “advanced search” link (near the search box). This will take you to another page, which you can scroll downwards, until you see a box marked “creative commons.” Check this box, and research. NOW, you’ll see images you can use.

If you see one click on the image. To actually download the image, go to “all sizes” choose a size and hit “download.”

2. Wiki commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page).

This site also rocks. This is a subpage of wikipedia that just collects all media associated with all the different entries on wikipedia. Because you can only use creative commons material on wikipedia, all of the media you find here is good to go!

Adding an image

Also very easy. Leave you cursor in the area of the writing box, where you want the image inserted. Then press the framelike square picture next to the “Add media” tag. This will take you to a page that allows you to pull the image from your computer (i.e. the flickr or wikicommons image you downloaded). As well, the window that opens allows additional features (such as the link you can go to if you click the image), alignment, image size.

Anyway, when you’re happy with these parameters, you can just click “insert image.”

Adding video

WordPress makes it pretty easy to use YouTube videos. If you want to embed a movie into your post, simply use the following code:

Publishing your post

Just hit the publish button!

Re-editing your post

This is also easy. All you have to do is go to “Manage.” Here you’ll see all of the posts on the website, and anyone that you have written, will be accessible (click on the title). Doing this, you will be taken back to the write mode for that particular post.

Written by David Ng

October 25, 2008 at 10:35 am


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Our group:

  • Brian Pataky (teacher from Prince George)
  • Rishma Swali (teacher from Richmond)
  • Pauline Finn (Science World)
  • Catherine Anderson (Genome BC)

We are going to build an activity based on two of the talks (Biodiversity and Sustainability) seen yesterday at the Michael Smith Labs conference.

Written by teamredred

October 25, 2008 at 10:11 am

Plate Tectonics: a transdisciplinary approach

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Authors: Jim Simonetta, Pat Gordon, Joanne Fox, Elizabeth Lang

Prescribed learning outcomes:

Science 8,9,10: A2: perform experiments using the scientific method, A4 demonstrate scientific literacy, A5: demonstrate cooperative behavior, A6: describe the relationship between scientific principles and technology. A7: demonstrate competence in the use of the technologies specific to investigative procedures and research.

Earth Science 10: D4 analyze the process and features associated with plate tectonics.

Earth Science 11: D1 assess the significance of age dating, the fossil record, and the Geological Time Scale, E3 outline the development of plate tectonic theory.

Geology 12: Demonstrate knowledge of the Earth’s layers. E3 relate rock formations and structures to the forces that create them. E4 analyze structures, processes, and evidence that support plate tectonic theory.

Physics 8: C7 determine the density of various substances. C8: explain the relationship between pressure, temperature, area, and force in fluids

Plate tectonics. A Theory that draws on many disciplines and illustrates the scientific method.

1. Hook: Use a funny/interesting little movie clip to get the students engaged. Here are two of our favorite clips:

2. Introduction: Display the outline of the scientific method to refer back to. Discuss each part of the method.

3. Watch video: presentation of the plate tectonic theory. Ask students to think about the scientific method while watching the video.

4. Matching exercise: Hand out a piece of evidence on a q-card to each student (photo of a fossil, map of earth, mountain range, rocks, graph correlation). Have the students move around and try to find other pieces of evidence that come from the same discipline (physics, math, geology, biology, chemistry.)

5.Hypothesis: With students broken up into their disciplines have them use their evidence to hypothesize how it could support the Theory of Plate Tectonics.

6. Collaborate: pair up each discipline with another one (math with biology, geology with physics.) Have each group present their hypothesis to it’s partner group. And the listening group write up: If they believe the other groups hypothesis and why or why not. And one way to test that hypothesis.

Lesson Two:

6. Present the evidence:Give a power point lecture that outlines the evidence from each discipline and how it was used to support the theory.

Physics: convection currents, magnetic bands on sea floor, density slab pull

Biology: fossil record correlations

Geology: rock types, minerals types and rock ages correlating between plates, glacial striations,

Art/geography: seeing the “fit” between plates

Chemistry: ions in the rock layers, iridium spikes, chemical composition of rocks

Math: separation rates, correlations

7. Activities/demonstrations

1) Model plate boundaries -Use huge soft cookies (or play dough) to demonstrate convergent, divergent and transverse plate boundaries.

2) Model convection currents and plates floating on the asthenosphere -boiling water in a beaker with candle wax on the surface

3) Lab to demonstrate the fossil correlation.

4) continental plate puzzle to reconstruct.

5) paper demo to show the way the magnetic bands on the ocean floor

8. Assessment:

1) demonstrate an understanding of the theory -Create a comic strip that gives a tour or the earth showing the different plate motions and evidence that supports this theory.

2) ask the students to write down 5 things they learned today and have them hand them in as they leave

3) Write a short quiz or fill in the blanks to see what they learned today

4) Have students describe a phenomena (ex. why leaves turn brown, earth quakes), propose a hypothesis and devise a method to test it.

9. Want to know more?

-Field trips: to science world, geological museum

-Guest speakers: experts in the field of geology

-Interesting links: discovery channel, evidence, physics animations, geolocial survey of Canada



Written by teamblueblue

October 25, 2008 at 9:52 am