This unit was developed at Memorial Academy in the Spring of 1996 in conjunction with the San Diego Unified School District's Triton Project, a Challenge Grant funded by the U. S. Department of Education.
Researching global discoveries in oceanography for tomorrow's
The oceans cover three-quarters of the earth's surface and are vital for the functioning of our planet. They provide food, transportation,
recreation, and vital natural resources that affect our everyday lives.
By studying our oceans we can gain a deeper understanding of the
global changes happening around us. Many advanced research
projects are currently in progress at places such as Sea World and
Scripps Institute of Oceanography to further our understanding of the
ocean and its splendors.
Content Areas and Grades
This unit is geared towards seventh grade math and science. Students study different projects currently underway and are given first hand experience to the scientific method.
Students practice research skills by studying the research of other scientists. Scientific discoveries are constantly underway and students can feel a part of them. Students are exposed to the way research is done and how scientists use the scientific method in their jobs. The relevance of the scientific method becomes a reality as students see it being used in the "real world."
Objectives and Curriculum Standards
This assignment encourages critical thinking skills along with research skills as required by the California, San Diego, and other frameworks. Students will become experts at the following tasks.
- Learning how to use the Internet
- Communicating with people on the Internet
- Seeing how science is used in the real world
- Students will use accessible technology
to explore and learn about the active research projects currently
taking place at locations around the world.
- Students will chose a research project currently in progress and research it using traditional techniques, the internet, e-mail with scientists, and videoconferencing.
- After gathering the information, the students compile their work into a presentation in order to notify their community of the project they researched. The students may present this information in a variety of ways.
- Create a page for the Internet.
- Create a HyperStudio stack with information about the project.
- Create a newsletter regarding the acquired information.
Considering the New Standards Project, students will be meeting several standards as they progress through this unit. The following math and science standards will be met while working on this unit.
- Standard 7 Mathematics - mathematical communication
- Standard 8 Mathematics - data study based on social issues
- Standard 3 Science - earth and space sciences concepts
- Standard 4 Science - scientific connections and applications
- Standard 5 Science - scientific thinking
- Standard 6 Science - scientific tools and technologies
- Standard 7 Science - scientific communication
- Standard 8 Science - scientific investigation
Depending on the background of your students this unit can take anywhere from five days to two months. For beginners you may need to spend considerable time introducing the prerequisite skills associated with ClarisWorks, HyperStudio, and/or WebWeaver with a series of mini lessons. The final project requires certain technology skills and it is important that the students are proficient in at least one of these applications. The individual unit lessons can be scheduled according to classroom needs.
Material Resources Needed
Students will need access to certain resources.
- Computers with internet access and e-mail capability
- E-mail accounts for all students
- Netscape (preferred) or any other web browser
- ClarisWorks, HyperStudio, and/or WebWeaver
- Access to school library
- Any other supplemental resources available - maps, encyclopedias, dictionaries, guest speakers, etc.
Human Resources Needed
One teacher is sufficient for completing this particular unit. Any outside resources are encouraged. Taking a field trip to an aquarium such as Steven Birch Aquarium or having a scientist come talk to the class would be helpful. Technical support may be needed for the more advanced telecommunicating tasks.
Entry Level Skills and Knowledge
Students must possess basic computer and keyboarding skills. They will also need to be comfortable using ClarisWorks, HyperStudio, and/or WebWeaver. Since the students have a choice of programs to use for their final project the teacher should be proficient with ClarisWorks, HyperStudio, and WebWeaver. In addition, use of E-mail will be required.
Outline of Activities
The first three lessons are intended to give students the opportunity to explore and research using the Internet and e-mail system. The remainder of time is spent by the students working on their final presentations.
|Day 1||Introducing the Internet |
|Day 2||Students research topics specific to oceanography|
|Day 3||Students send E-mail to a scientist|
|Day 4-?||Students begin working on their final products.|
Students can earn up to 100 points for completing the assignments for this unit.
- Lesson One
- List five internet URLs and written paragraph - 5 points
- Homework assignment
- Written essay explaining the pros and cons of the Internet - 25 points
- Lesson Two
- Identify the research topic group's name and URL - 20 points
- Final project: ClarisWorks, HyperStudio, or WebWeaver presentation
- Includes valid information - 10 points
- Uses required sources - 10 points
- Is neat and well organized - 10 points
- Uses correct grammar and spelling - 10 points
- Overall impression - 10 points
This unit is very flexible and can be adapted by a teacher in many ways. It is set up as a generic guideline for researching. This same structure could be used for researching any topic. Also, it may be desired to limit which computer program the students may use for their final project or use an alternative such as PageMaker or Word.
This is a very exciting unit in which students research using the Internet and process the gathered information using technology. The knowledge acquired by the students is something above and beyond the typical research.
Last updated on September 20, 1996.
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