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Stories of Schools Connecting Internationally

Science, Math, and Environment Projects

WHAT'S HERE:

  Astronomy with a Stick (AWS) and Day into Night (DIN)
  The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE)
  Core Concepts of Systems Engineering
  Down The Drain
  The Sun Times
  Connecting Math to Our Lives
  ENO-A Global Web School for Environmental Awareness
  Exploring Alternative Energy
  Global Warming: The Planet is Heating Up!
  GLOBE: Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment
  Journey North A Global Study of Wildlife Migration
  Our Footprints, Our Future
  Solar Cooking Project
  Weather: Forecasting the Future
  YouthCAN (Youth Communicating and Networking)
  Additional Resources

 

ASTRONOMY WITH A STICK (AWS) AND DAY INTO NIGHT (DIN)


Science projectsUpper elementary students can experience astronomical relationships through indirect observations of the sun on the school playground and with models built in the classroom. AWS activities provide a continuous exercise in critical thinking and combine well with practice in the use of mathematics and language skills. The science information and skills gained in the activities form a foundation for future studies in astronomy and geography. An accompanying project is Day Into Night, which is designed to introduce the basic concept of nighttime astronomy, by relating it to students through familiar activities of Astronomy With a Stick.

Registered classes will be able to share data, different ways they are using AWS in their classrooms; stories and myths about the sky overhead; and other information.

 

THE CENTER FOR INNOVATION IN ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE EDUCATION (CIESE)


CIESECIESE sponsors and designs interdisciplinary projects that teachers throughout the world can use to enhance their curriculum through compelling use of the Internet.  Projects utilize real time data available from the Internet, and collaborative projects utilize the Internet's potential to reach peers and experts around the world. Below is a catalog of projects that are currently being or have been sponsored by CIESE; a few specific projects have also been highlighted further down the page. Each project has a brief description and links to the National Science Standards and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics math standards it supports.  Teachers can participate in any of the projects for free and are welcome to participate to any extent that they can. 

  • Age Level: Each project recommends an appropriate grade level.
  • Timeline: Some projects run for a few weeks, while others run for the whole school year. Check for details.
  • Webpage: http://www.stevens.edu/ciese/currichome.html
  • Contact: Each project has a Project Leader, however feel free to contact Greg Bartus, gregory.bartus@stevens.edu for any questions
  • Supporting Organization: The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Languages: English, with some projects translated into Spanish

The following are highlighted CIESE projects. More are available on their main site page.

 

CORE CONCEPTS OF SYSTEMS ENGINEERING


This is a CIESE-sponsored 3-week project, offered at 3 different times. This telecollaborative project is designed to provide students in grades 9-12 with an orientation to systems engineering concepts. Students will be provided with an overview of systems thinking including the systems model. Through guided activities students will reverse-engineer a common device that contains both electrical and mechanical components and then create a systems diagram for the deconstructed device. Students will create reassembly instructions and diagrams that partner schools worldwide will use in their attempt to reconstruct the device. This project provides the background needed to encourage teachers and students to participate in more advanced collaborative design activities.

  • Age Level: 14-18
  • Curricular Areas: Design technology, math, engineering, and physics
  • Types of Technology: Email, message boards, PDF and document creation, image sharing, and Quicktime
  • End Product: Disassembly of a single-use camera, reassembly of a different camera as per another group’s instructions
  • Timeline: Sept-Oct, Oct-Nov, and Nov-Dec. See website for specific deadlines and schedules.
  • Webpage: http://www.ciese.org/curriculum/seproject/index.html
  • Contact: Henry Harms, Henry.Harms@stevens.edu
  • Supporting Organization: CIESE at Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Languages: English

 

DOWN THE TRAIN


Down the DrainThis is a CIESE-sponsored ongoing elementary project. This Internet-based collaborative project will allow students to share information about water usage with other students from around the country and the world. Based on data collected by their household members and their classmates, students will determine the average amount of water used by one person in a day. They will compare this to the average amount of water used per person per day in other parts of the world.

  • Age Levels: 8-13
  • Curricular Areas: Science, environmental studies
  • Types of Technology: Email, message boards, PDF and document creation, image sharing, video, and Quicktime
  • End Product: Shared results of the experiment, based on hypotheses, will be published and submitted to the global database.
  • Timeline: Ongoing, see website for specific outline of activities.
  • Webpage: http://ciese.org/curriculum/drainproj/index.html
  • Contact: Mercedes McKay, Mercedes.McKay@stevens.edu
  • Supporting Organization: CIESE at Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Languages: English

 

THE SUN TIMES


The Sun TimesThis is a CIESE sponsored ongoing middle school or high school project. Join students from around the world as they determine how their geographic location (i.e. where they live) affects their average daily temperature and hours of sunlight. Specifically, students will measure the temperature and record the number of minutes of sunlight; compare and contrast their results with those from other parts of the world; and determine how proximity to the equator affects average daily temperature and sunlight.

  • Age Level: 11-18
  • Curriculum Areas: Science, geography, math and, environmental studies
  • Types of Technology: Email, message boards, graphing and plotting, MS Excel, document creation, and image sharing
  • End Product: Shared results of the experiment; reports, and graphs
  • Timeline: September-November and March-May
  • Webpage: http://www.k12science.org/curriculum/tempproj3/en/index.shtml
  • Contact: Augusto Z. Macalalag Jr, augusto.macalalag@stevens.edu
  • Supporting Organization: CIESE at Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Languages: English

 

CONNECTING MATH TO OUR LIVES


This project helps students see how they can use math to analyze issues of importance to society and to take action to promote greater equity in their school or community. Students may choose from a number of activity options, including statistics and society; promoting equity at our school site; and school and community survey and data analysis.

  • Connecting Math in our livesAge Level: K-12
  • Curricular Areas: Math, statistics
  • End Product: Global data gathering leading to a report which connects that data to a social issue
  • Timeline: October-March
  • Webpage: http://www.orillas.org/math
  • Contact Person: Kristin Brown and Enid Figueroa, orillas-math@igc.org
  • Types of Technology: Email, newsgroups, web
  • Supporting Organization: De Orilla a Orilla, iEARN-Orillas Center
  • Languages: All

 

ENO-A GLOBAL WEB SCHOOL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS


Eno Envirionment Online

ENO- Environment Online is a global virtual school and network for schools, students, and teachers to learn about environmental sustainability. It is based in Finland and sponsored by their Education Department. Find a coordinator in your country or one of 150 others! Register to participate and learn more about environmental awareness. There are two lessons per week and you must apply during the previous school year in order to participate. Additional information is available at the site.

  • Age Level: 11-17
  • Curricular Areas: Science and environmental studies
  • Types of Technology: Websites, email, and discussion boards
  • End Product: A campaign week organized after each of four themes, when the results are shared locally and globally
  • Timeline: September-June
  • Webpage: http://www.joensuu.fi/eno/basics/briefly.htm
  • Contact: Mika Vanhanen, vanhanen@cc.joensuu.fi
  • Supporting Organization: The Department of Education and the city of Joensuu, Finland
  • Languages: English and local languages

 

EXPLORING ALTERNATIVE ENERGY


Alternative EnergyAlternative energy is one of the hot issues encompassed by environment and sustainability. In this project, students on different continents use different Web 2.0 tools (e.g. Knowledge Forum, VoiceThread, wiki, Skype, etc.) for exploring and discussing local alternative energy, and sharing their own alternative energy models and proposals to promote the use of alternative energy based on the local context. Students also discuss local environmental issues and their cultures during video conferencing. At the end of the Project, students can widen their horizons in understanding the relationship between the use of alternative energy and local contexts.

  • Age Level: Grade 5 and Grade 8
  • Curricular Areas: Science, humanities, and social studies
  • Types of Technology: Knowledge Forum, wiki, VoiceThread discussion, email, YouTube, video conferencing, recording, and Skype
  • End Product(s): Presentation for video conference and alternative energy models
  • Timeline: December-June
  • Webpages:http://bestbudsteam.wikispaces.com for Grade 5 and http://pkcalternativeenergy.wikispaces.com for Grade 8
  • Contact: Sally Wan, sallywywan2010@gmail.com
  • Supporting Organization: The University of Hong Kong
  • Languages: English

 

GLOBAL WARMING: THE PLANET IS HEATING UP!


How can we help to save our planet from global warming? In this project, students learn about the effects of global warming and ways to reduce its effects on our planet. Through email exchanges, students collaborate on ways kids around the globe can make a difference.

  • Age Level: 6-18
  • Curricular Areas: science, environmental studies, and geography
  • Types of Technology: email, web articles, webpages, presentation software, PowerPoint, and Prezi
  • End Product(s): Students will create advocacy presentations that demonstrate an understanding of global warming and include specific descriptions of one effect and calls to action to reduce that effect.
  • Timeline: The project takes about 4-5 weeks.
  • Webpage: http://www.epals.com/projects/info.aspx?DivID=GlobalWarming_overview
  • Contact: Use the forum to connect with other classrooms for this project.
  • Supporting Organizations: ePals and National Geographic
  • Languages: English

 

GLOBE: GLOBAL LEARNING AND OBSERVATION TO BENEFIT THE ENVIRONMENT


The Globe ProgramGLOBE is a worldwide network of students, teachers, and scientists working together to study and understand the global environment. Students and teachers from over 15000 schools in more than 100 countries have worked with research scientists to learn more about our planet. GLOBE students make environmental observations at or near their schools and report their data through the Internet. Scientists use GLOBE data in their research and provide feedback to the students to enrich their science education. Global images based on GLOBE student data are displayed on the World Wide Web, enabling students and other visitors to visualize the student environmental observations. Students share environmental science data worldwide with one another through the GLOBE website and in this way develop awareness, respect, and appreciation for one another's cultures and environmental habitats.  Interactive science data sharing builds understanding and awareness of one's own cultural context as well as the cultural contexts of others. Instructions on how to join are here. Also, look for a workshop in your area.

  • Age Level: 5 -19
  • Curricular Areas: Science, social studies, and geography
  • Types of Technology: Websites, email, data tools
  • End Product for Students: Environmental monitoring data collection and analysis of worldwide database
  • Timeline: Ongoing
  • Webpage: http://www.globe.gov
  • Supporting Organization: NOAA and NASA
  • Languages: German, English, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic, and Dutch

 

JOURNEY NORTH - A GLOBAL STUDY OF WILDLIFE MIGRATION


Journey NorthTrack wildlife migration and spring's journey north. The journeys of a dozen migratory species are tracked each spring. Students share their own field observations with classrooms across the hemisphere. In addition, students are linked with scientists who provide their expertise directly to the classroom. Several migrations are tracked by satellite telemetry, providing live coverage of individual animals as they migrate. As the spring season sweeps across the hemisphere, students note changes in daylight, temperatures, and all living things as the food chain comes back to life.

  • Age Level: All grades
  • Curricular areas: Science and environment
  • Types of Technology: websites, email, and digital photos
  • Timeline: Spring and Fall
  • Webpage: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/
  • Contact Person: Register from webpage above.
  • Supporting Organization: Annenberg/CPB Learner.org
  • Language: English

 

OUR FOOTPRINTS, OUR FUTURE


Our Footprints Our FutureOur Footprints, Our Future! (OF)2 is an international initiative that encourages youth (ages 19 and younger) from around the world to use online tools and resources to measure their carbon footprint and develop ways to reduce their carbon usage. Through the (OF)2 project, students can input data on their lifestyles into a unique online youth calculator developed by Zerofootprint.net that has been adapted to recognize different cultural and socioeconomic settings, housing, modes of transportation, and food consumption. Students discuss how their lifestyle affects climate changes around the world.

  • Ages: Grades K-12
  • Types of Technology: Websites, forum, and email
  • Curricular Areas: Science, technology, and social science
  • Timeline: Ongoing
  • Webpage: http://of2.iearn.org/
  • Contact: of2feedback@iearn.org
  • Supporting Organizations: iEARN, World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), and WNET Channel 13 New York
  • Languages: English, though others are encouraged to join

 

SOLAR COOKING PROJECT


Participants are invited to experiment with alternative energy uses by making, testing and using solar cookers. Recipes, construction tips, experiments, and research findings will be shared on line and compiled on a web site.

Possible project and classroom activities include designing original solar ovens, comparing insulation materials, comparing heat trap materials, comparing the effects of climate changes on solar cooking, writing letters to local newspapers about the benefits of using solar energy, creating a web page about solar cooking, and many others.

 

WEATHER: FORECASTING THE FUTURE


How is a good weather forecast made? In this project, students become meteorologists as they explore conditions that make up weather. Through an ongoing email exchange, students will share weather related information about their own location while learning about the weather in their ePal's location.

  • Age: 6-18
  • Curricular Area: Science, environmental studies, media production, and geography
  • Types of technology used: Email, web articles, webpages, digital photography, possibly digital video, and movie-making
  • End Product: Students will use their knowledge of weather and forecasting as they work together to write and produce a television weather broadcast.
  • Timeline: The project takes about 4 weeks.
  • Webpage: http://www.epals.com/projects/weather_watch
  • Contact: Use the forum to connect with other classrooms for this project.
  • Supporting Organizations: ePals and National Geographic
  • Languages: English

 

YOUTHCAN (YOUTH COMMUNICATING AND NETWORKING)


YouthCaN ConferenceStudents facilitate an online network using telecommunications technologies to undertake and/or share environmental work locally and around the world. Students write about and interact on environmental issues facing their communities during the year. Since 1995, a youth planning committee has coordinated an annual event in April, which brings together youth of the world to share how they are exploring environmental topics and becoming part of the solution to environmental problems. The primary YouthCaN event involves over 1,000 students at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Other events take place around the US and in other countries-linked through the Internet and video-conferencing with the students in New York City. A second major event, known as YouthCAN Med, is held in the Middle East.

  • Age Level: Grade K-12
  • Curricular Areas: Science, environmental studies, and language arts
  • Type of Technology: Email, discussion forum, websites, video conferencing, and digital imaging
  • Timeline: Ongoing
  • Webpage: http://www.youthcanworld.org
  • Contact: Michael Foster, mfoster@amnh.org
  • Supporting Organization: iEARN and American Museum of Natural History

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES


Schools Around the World (SAW) Programs

This network is a participatory professional development program of the Council for Basic Education and is an international collaboration of teachers dedicated to learning and assessment in Science and Mathematics. Teachers reflect on their own teaching practice by looking at real student work from the nine participating nations.