TES:MMW Fieldwork

Produced by Brandon Gillette, Wednesday February 8th, 2017

Introduction

This unit was conducted at a preK-12 independent school in Kansas City, MO. The middle school consists of grades 6-8 with roughly 100 students per grade. 6th grade science tends to be a survey course of sorts. 7th grade focuses on life science, and 8th grade focuses on the physical sciences.

Unit Overview

The video and images seen in this Video Paper were from a two-week long unit on watersheds as part of the TES:MMW project. Students initially surveyed their school campus to identify different types of land cover along with potential sources of runoff. This was supplemented by work with the Model My Watershed app. The unit included a field survey of the local Brush Creek area near the Plaza in Kansas City, MO, with the help of a water chemist from the KC Water Proejct. The conclusion of the unit coincided with a class field trip to the Overland Park Abrobretum south of Kansas City where students used a field survey of macroinvertabrates as a measure of local water quality.

Our angle for implementing watershed curricula into 7th grade life science was to explore the physical watershed, then select certain biological parameters in order to better understand water quality.

We introduced the unit having students take photos of their home or neighborhood showing examples of different types of land cover and uploading them into their ITSI photo albums. The next step was to get them out of the school building using a walk-about across campus. Additionally, we were use spatial analysis resources, ArcGIS online, to give students a better sense of a physical watershed and how water moves across a community and a continent.

We were forunuate enough to have two field experiences as part of the unit that allowed students to explore the local watershed from off-campus. The first was a trip to Brush Creek (within walking distance) to test the viability of the TI instruments used as part of the TES:MMW program.

The second trip was already part of the 7th grade curriculum, a trip to the local arboretum located in Overland Park, KS, south of the Kansas City metro area. Here students were able to collect water samples in two areas of the park.

We were forunuate enough to have two field experiences as part of the unit that allowed students to explore the local watershed from off-campus. The first was a trip to Brush Creek (within walking distance) to test the viability of the TI instruments used as part of the TES:MMW program.

The second trip was already part of the 7th grade curriculum, a trip to the local arboretum located in Overland Park, KS, south of the Kansas City metro area. Here students were able to collect water samples in two areas of the park.

It worked well to already have the arboretum trip as part of the curriculum as it allowed for smooth implementation of the MMW resources. The students generally enjoyed the workflow and the customization allowed through the ITSI portal. We were able to provide additional resources for those that were eager to continue their exploration.

Since the initial exploration of our watershed we have been able to make countless connections to genetic diversity, ecosystem services, and human impacts on the environment.