After three days of conducting field study work outside, students spent the class period analyzing their samples and then organizing and analyzing their data. Using the field study analysis worksheet, students made tables and graphs, and then shared their results with other students before completing the summary questions.
With 4 of our 6 classroom computers suddenly out of commission, there has been a backlog of students wanting to analyze pictures taken during the field study. For students with Internet access and a computer available outside of school, histogram analysis can be conducted with software like GIMP 2.8 (available for free) or Adobe Photoshop (sign up for a free 30 day trial).
Today marks the third and final day of class time for fieldwork. After today, students will have collected data for three days and will then analyze their results, create data tables, and graph their results. As with previous fieldwork days, students collected results on the attached worksheet.
On Friday, students went back out to the front lawn to collect their second day of field study data, recording their data on the field study worksheet. Even with the short period, many student groups were able to analyze their samples back in the classroom. Students used a variety of lab techniques, including soil composition analysis, digital microscopy, and image histogram analysis.
We began our Field Study unit learning about what a field study is and how scientists actually do field studies. Students brainstormed ideas for field studies focusing on understanding the impact of various variables on the ecology of our school’s front lawn. We marked a picture of the lawn off into sectors, and students went outside to identify sectors they will use for their field study. For the remainder of the class period, students worked in pairs to write a procedure for their field study. The slide deck is available here.