Debbie Dogancay, Newbury Park High School, Earth Exploration Toolbook Chapter
Activity takes at least 3 lesson periods (50 min each) and requires thermometers, hand-held GPS units, and GIS licenses (after the 45-day free trial).Discuss this Resource»
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About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing 5b
Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines
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B) Designing investigations.
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Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Original student research produced by following the guidelines would be appropriate for a science fair or a class project.
- More discussion questions and guidelines of how these findings fit in a larger context of climate change and human impacts is necessary.
About the Science
- MyWorld GIS is used for this GIS-focused activity that uses the example of urban heat islands and the relationship between surface temperature and type of land cover. The temperature measurements are done by students as a project.
- Activity is mainly a guide of how to use a GIS program and the urban heat island is simply an example. Background information is presented well, as is instruction of how to do the measurements; however, it lacks some scaffolding and further questions that lead students towards an understanding of the science behind the Urban Heat Island phenomenon.
- Refer to a more recent quote from the US Global Change Research Program's Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States assessment that was released on Tuesday June 16th, 2009.
About the Pedagogy
- Great combination of hands-on data collection and graphical display of results.
- Well-designed introduction to GIS with a number of suggestions for potential environmental research questions that can be explored by students.
- Scientific research question of Urban Heat Island is mainly a vehicle to learn the use of a GIS Program; therefore, it lacks a lot of the pedagogic scaffolding that would be helpful for teachers (no assessment strategies suggested, no discussion or interpretation guidelines for results).
- Defining research hypothesis, setting up experiment, conducting the measurements and displaying data in a GIS will engage students of different learning styles.
- This activity is a time-intensive activity and requires software that can be downloaded for free but needs to be purchased after 45 days.
- This resource engages students in using scientific data.
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