Lesson Logs

GPS and Remote Sensing/Groundtruthing



Fruitvale Project from TASC.

A pollution study modeled after an actual water contamination of a site in NC.

animated_sherlock.gifanimated_sherlock.gif Inquiry Projects

Science Project Notes

Experimental Design:

Independent Variable (Manipulated Variable) X axis in the graphs.
The 'experimentor' decides to manipulate this factor.
Example: In the hot hand experiment, I decided to test the hand of every Titan;
we measured the temperature of every Titan hand (independent variable) and we graphed the temperature for each
(dependent variable).

Dependent Variable (Responding Variable) What you will be measuring in your experiment. Y axis in your graphs.
Constants: Variables that could be changed but you are going to keep each of these the same during the experiment.
Control: What do you consider normal? The control is what you use as a comparison.
The Experimental Group: The group you are treating differently to allow you to run the experiment.

Still confused? Go to your textbook, pages 6-11.

January 30, 2007: Review Groundwater ideas using Tasc activities.
Objective 5.05 Use maps, ground truthing and remote sensing to make predictions regarding:
  • Changes over time.
  • Land use.
  • Urban sprawl.
  • Resource management.

January 31, 2007: Make a map with contour intervals using a NOAA Inquiry Lab Activity.

This is an African Rift Lake; our Cichlids come from this lake. It was once a Mid Ocean Ridge.African_rift.jpg

(All satellite Data supplied by NOAA.)
continental shelf
Mid Ocean Ridge in Califorinia.

Mid Ocean Ridges in progress

Can you see how the African Rift Lakes look like this?

Groundtruthing the ocean:

Monterrey Bay, Davidson Seamount Expeditions from NOAA

This has both the bathymetric map (underwater topographic map) with the
profile of the seamount.


Seamounts are inactive volcanoes that remain underwater.

Hudson Canyon

Evidence of the mouth of an old river in the ocean.

Using these formations and seamounts, students add water to a container and make contour intervals on an acetate overhead taped to the container.
The canyon is easy to map in the lab.

Practice: http://asterix.ednet.lsu.edu/~lou2/Holly/Landforms/ReliefActivity.dwt

February 1, 2007 Snow day

February 2, 2007 Practice with contour intervals. Create a profile from a topographic map. Take a pretend hike .
USGS worksheets. Ideas: groundtruthing, using maps, dontour intervals, satellite imagery.

How do we 'groundtruth' the ocean satellite data?

Monday, February 5, 2007
Review mapping, practice with coloring contours for those who need additional practice.
Prepare for Plume Lab. Discuss general contaminants and their harm in water.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Does the point source contaminant make a different plume than the non point source contaminant does?
Students test food coloring on thick filter layers to see how the plume forms under diferent conditions.

Wednesday 2/7/07


3.08 Recognize that the good health of environments and organisms requires:
  • Monitoring of the hydrosphere.
  • Water quality standards.
  • Methods of water treatment.
  • Maintaining safe water quality.
  • Stewardship.
3.07 Describe how humans affect the quality of water: (Relating this at beach or in Sanford would be cool.)
  • Point and non-point sources of water pollution in North Carolina.
  • Possible effects of excess nutrients in North Carolina waters.
  • Economic trade-offs.
  • Local water issues.

3.06 Evaluate technologies and information systems used to monitor the hydrosphere.

3.05 Analyze hydrospheric data over time to predict the health of a water
system including: (Fish Tanks)
  • Temperature. Dissolved oxygen.
  • pH. Nitrates.
  • Turbidity. Bio-indicators. (San Lee Park Trip)

Predicting Plumes in Frutivale

Why is our water supply important? Chemical pollution and bacterial pollution are not visible. Each problem can cause disease.

Pictures from 2003 of Pollution.

ind4_water_pollution_at_Norajakheda.jpg Diseases caused by water pollution in India.


Jajmau, India Water Pollution.

Put science problem on line for students.

Thursday, Feb 8, 2007

Tie up "Plumes"; Fruitvale has an unusual plume. In spite of Blueberry Hill at the North of Fruitvale, with the highest elevation on the map, the contaminant plume from the worksheets actually move north toward Blueberry Hill. Using models, show how this can happen. This discrepant event seems to defy gravity. It will be interesting to see what students predicted. They are actually facing what scientists face; our hypothesis are often proved wrong.

Using the plume map, lead into the numbers on the transparency. This is the time to pull out the 10 gallon fish tank of rice grains. Challenge students to consider how many grains of rice are in the tank. How could they calculate the total of rice grains? What if those grains represent water molecules? How would we model pollution with atoms of a metal? Go through that discussion with visuals using the model.

To discuss dilution of contaminants flowing into the aquifer, use the old blue food coloring solution from the previous lab. (Very important for the class periods that are not yet thinking concretely) Develop ppm or ppb as an easier way to work with these trace amount of ''posions'... much easier than % or fractions. Fruitvale has a great circle graph of serial dilutions.
Teaching aides:
Activate interest with the Fish Tank Let students predict the number of grains of rice. Add the Hg model and begin the ratio idea.
KWL for math. Have students list all the ways they express numbers that we are discussing. Ratio/Proportion, Fractions, %, decimals, include scientific notation. Then show easier way, ppm or ppb. This all stems from the contaminant plume transparency with the numbers. Students confuse this with the topographic map.
Use the chant:
Concentration: 10 gallon fish tank with rice. Clay ball as mercury contamination.
Concentrated orange juice. Diluted fountain drinks by ice melting.

Serial dilution lab. Hand out highlighters for students to mark through each step as they read the directions.
[The lab part took 15 minutes for students to do the dilution and record the colors when everything was at their desk.]
Warning: That science proposal is coming 2/16/07. What is your problem? I am typing that problem on the wikispace now. When you state your problem, you will then make your hypothesis and design your experiment to test that hypothesis. You need to be sure you have a plan to do an experiment to prove your hypothesis.

Friday, Feb 9, 2007

Tie up parts per million lab with serial dilution. Calculate the math part of the lab chart.

Discuss the part of the science project due next Friday; provide hand out with grading rubric.

This part was not done because of the time to teach part 1 and 2.
Problem of the day: Is my fish tank a model of 1ppm?
Determine the number of rice grains in the tank. Is the concentration 1 ppm of the contaminant???
OR set up CBL motion detector to show slopes....troubles in math with concept.

Homework over the weekend:
What facts do we know about Fruitvale?









Monday, February 12, 2007

Students in 4th core particularly had difficulty with the concept of ppm. Use the SPLASHINGS connection today to encourage them to take a more active role in learning. The next fish tank should be theirs. They really need more hands on learning science and enrichment as a whole group. Motivation also plays a significant role in their learning.

Make a list of the facts you know about Fruitvale groundwater contamination with your new lab partner. Devise an effective plan to chemically test the 40 wells with the least cost to Frutivale.

Tuesday, Test the Wells

Wednesday, Complete the chemical tests and your report.

Thursday Isolines of Plumes
Construct isolines for true Fruitvale data. Practice isolines for other data.

Friday 2/16/07 Read about science careers from magazine articles. Goal 1,2 Accompanying worksheet.

Individually discuss Science Proposal for revisions.

Wednesday's Test: topographic profile, topographic maps, geologic maps, aquifers, aquitards, wells, clay, sand, gravel, groundwater, contaminants, scenarios, diultion, pollution, plume, street maps, elevation, slope, seamounts, mid-ocean ridges, deep sea canyons, ppm, ppb, legal limits to water quality standards, EPA, calculating distances by using scales, determining elevation by using contour maps and the contour interval, calculate the ppm from a dilution.

Monday 2/19/07
Students will write one paragraph about each career. Goal 1,2
What is the career? Discuss several things that a person with this job would do. What is your opinion of this career?
Complete individual conferences about the Science Proposals submitted.
Tuesday 2/20/07 Students will complete a test review of the Fruitvale Unit.
Wednesday 2/21/07 Test on Fruitvale Groundwater Contamination Site. Prepare students for strip tests. icon_science_21.gif

Thursday 2/22/07 Students will get ready to perform chemical reaction tests on well samples for nitrates, pH, nitrites, iron hardness and chlorine. Application of ppm. Matthew Cooke from Duke University visited our Career Fair and spoke to 2nd Core.


Friday 2/23/07
Substitute Required. Career Puzzle.
1st and 2nd --prepare for lab; complete copying the lab and do the careers worksheet.
3rd and 4th --complete the career worksheet; movie on Black Scientists for Black History Month.
Progress Reports sent home for all students. animated_dog_school.gif (Craig, Lily, and Kendra did not have a grade changed on their
Science Proposal.)

Homework for this week: Complete your Research Paper for typing.

Complete lab write up for grade.
Work on 34 definitions of word puzzle science careersusing dictionary.
Complete definitions for homework. Learn your careers.

Suffix clues
_ology means the study of _
ologist is a student who studies
herpetologist is a student who studies reptiles and amphibians.

Students will type their Science Research Paper Bibliography of references using Ms. Satterwhite's format during the math period in the computer lab.

Tuesday: Water Testing Lab from TASC Unit.
Students determine water quality on pond water, Jacuzzi water from a health club, water from an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor winter pool that is inactive, and the 8th grade East Lee water fountain water.

Tests include: pH, chlorine, nitrate/nitrite, iron, copper, hardness, and bacteria.
Test strips are used; each test requires different instructions.

NOTE FOR NEXT YEAR: Students had difficulty making predictions about which water samples might have lowest and highest pH, ect. I discovered that only a few who have been working on their projects faithfully even understand pH. Although the water testing strips are great, I think the Water Riddle will be hard or lost on most of the classes at this time. Professionally, it is difficult to know how to teach the units without the background knowledge there. I usually don't have to teach pH to get them to use it and have a general knowledge of the acid - base- neutral scale. It's sad to think they are in the 8th grade and don't know about pH paper and acids and bases.

Probably 2nd and 1st can do this lab. Water Riddle Lab. Students will be given four bottles without labels. They must use clues to determine which label belongs on these bottles. They may do only a certain number of tests to confirm the labels. The chemical tests we studied on Tuesday are applied to this lab.

Thurs Practice vocabulary through games/ cards.
If students have completed the water unit riddle, we will practice with the GPS units.

Frid: Quiz on career vocabulary. Type Science Research Paper in Lab.



WED: Type Science Proposal in Lab.

Thursday, March 8, 2007
Learn to gaggle. Ever heard a gaggle of geese???

Friday March 9 Science Research Paper Due