Academic journal article Science Scope

A World of Data to Explore

Academic journal article Science Scope

A World of Data to Explore

Article excerpt

Given the chance, most children "fall in love" with nature during childhood, and it is the responsibility of middle school teachers to keep that connection and sense of wonder alive. These days, childhood experiences in nature are less varied and more limited than in previous generations, and it is imperative for schools to provide as many opportunities as possible for students to interact with the natural world so that they develop a sense of stewardship for the Earth and its future.

In this issue of Science Scope, Laura Robertson and John Meyer share an activity that uses free online computer software to teach properties of sound by exploring the "singing" of insects. Teachers can use this activity to encourage families to go on listening excursions to locate crickets, katydids, grasshoppers, and cicadas. In "SSSNOW Project" on page 36, Kenneth Huff and Catherine Lange describe how to help students investigate the physical properties of snow and to recognize winter weather patterns by collecting and analyzing snowfall data. On page 45, Sam Stier details how to use trees and other schoolyard organisms to teach students the basic techniques of sampling.

In "How Middle School Students Come Face to Face With Down Syndrome Research," middle school students are given scenarios from research on Down syndrome, then are asked to evaluate and make inferences about the data they gather in order to understand the genetic and phenotypic implications of DS. …

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