May 7: Class began with a continuation of our work yesterday analyzing an article written by a different author and news organization but about the same subject material as yesterday:
- 1 Million Animal And Plant Species Are At Risk Of Extinction, U.N. Report Says (NPR)
- 1 million species under threat of extinction because of humans, biodiversity report finds (NBC News)
After completing another text analysis organizer, students compared and contrasted the two writing styles as part of a small group discussion. Next, we watched a video segment about the IPBES summary from Fox News. Students contrasted the articles with the video and evaluated the effect of tone on viewer perception of the material.
With so many possible sources of information out there, and the information often marketed as news but actually representing something other than objective fact, students watched The Baloney Detection kit video below. To help ensure everyone can differentiate between science and pseudoscience, students wrote down descriptions of all 10 points on a handout, with the expectation that they will use the points to determine whether a source should be used in our project work as students of science.
May 8: To begin class, we made use of some neat older equipment unearthed in our chemistry store room. Students used polarized light filters to visualize the emission spectra of hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, neon, argon, and mercury. We connected the emission spectra back to the concept of electron orbitals, previewing our work to come as the end of the year approached.
Next, we moved our “What Comes Next” discussion forward by creating a network diagram connecting facts from the CNN, NPR, and NBC News articles (key facts) with possible solutions (what can we do?). After building out the network diagram, students formed teams based on interest and were tasked with narrowing their own focus to the solution they would most like to explore and digging deeply into each solution by crafting a Project Proposal with the following elements:
- Clearly describe the problem
- Clearly describe the proposed solution and explain how you would use STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) to share your proposed solution with the class
- Identify and explain the stakeholders: who or what will be impacted by the solution and why
- Research previous efforts to solve the problem and identify what worked and what did not
- Describe five major constraints: what are the realities of successfully implementing the solution? For example, cost is a universal constraint (everything costs money!) – how much might your solution cost (based on previous efforts) and who will pay?
Notes from class: