By: Jennifer Soukhome, Graham Peaslee, Carl Van Faasen, and William Statema
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Watershed Investigations: 12 Labs for High School Science
|Type of Product:||NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable PDF version of this book)
|Grade Level:||High School
|Read Inside:||Read a sample chapter: Plant Identification
For a color version of Figure 2.1, visit the book’s "Extra" page.
Our reviewers—top-flight teachers and other outstanding science educators—have determined that this resource is among the best available supplements for science teaching.
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As urbanization and populations increase, it becomes increasingly more important that we understand the given relationships between the trends in our behavior and the ecological impacts they impart. Of particular importance is the fragile state of a great number of our watersheds, which provide not only drainage areas from our rivers and streams, but also drinking water for human and animal populations alike.
Watershed Investigations: 12 Labs for High School Science provides high school educators with a series of broad-based, hands-on experiments designed to help students understand the relationships between human impact and local hydrology. Covering a range of disciplines—including geology, chemistry, Earth science, botany, and biology—this volume gives educators lesson plans that will interest the student and meet a wide array of state and national curricular standards.
The book includes twelve customizable labs, each with extensive background and reference information designed to allow students to share the excitement of discovery along with the methods of scientific research and relevant examples of textbook subject material.
• Modeling Glacier Features with Sand
• Glacial Features of a Watershed
• Plant Identifications
• Wetland Delineation
• Measuring Plant Allelopathy
• Stream Channel Morphology
• Calculating Stream Discharge
• Flood Frequency Analysis for a River
• Comparison of Phosphorous Levels in Stream Sediments
• Macroinvertebrate Identification
• Factors that Affect Eutrophication
• Groundwater Contamination
The flexible formats of these labs can be customized to fit any teaching style and can be adapted to fit either inquiry-based or traditional methods based on the given class and situation. Additionally, the book contains helpful reference materials and appendices that include a history of the watershed, resources for additional information, and rubrics for writing classroom laboratory reports.
An exceptional example of proactive ecological education, Watershed Investigations will give students real-world experiential learning opportunities to understand abstract environmental concepts with concrete scientific detail.
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Scientific habits of mind
Science and technological challenges in society
|Intended User Role:||Curriculum Supervisor, High-School Educator, Teacher
|Educational Issues:||Assessment of students, Classroom management, Curriculum, Educational research, Inquiry learning, Instructional materials, Interdisciplinary, Integrating technology, Teacher content knowledge, Teacher preparation, Teaching strategies
About the Authors
Chapter 1: Modeling Glacial Features With Sand
Students learn about glacier formation by modeling glacial features in sand.
Chapter 2: Glacial Features of a Watershed
Students use Quaternary maps to examine sediments left behind from glaciers and learn how the glaciers shaped the watershed.
Chapter 3: Plant Identification
Students use a dichotomous key to identify trees and common plant species found in the watershed.
Chapter 4: Wetland Delineation
Students design a procedure for delineating a wetland area and then survey an area in the watershed to categorize it as wetland or upland by examining the vegetation, soil, and hydrology.
Chapter 5: Measuring Plant Allelopathy
Students design a procedure for comparing the allelopathic effects of native and non-native plants on the germination of seeds.
Chapter 6: Stream Channel Morphology
Students use a physical model to study streams and basic hydrology and to compare how channel morphology affects the flow of water and the transportation of sediment.
Chapter 7: Calculating Stream Discharge
Students work together to obtain accurate hydrologic data on a stream and use the data to calculate discharge of the stream.
Chapter 8: Flood Frequency Analysis for a River
Students use U.S. Geological Survey real-time data of a river to analyze and interpret the statistical frequency of floods in order to predict recurrence intervals.
Chapter 9: Comparison of Phosphate Levels in Stream Sediments
Students design a lab to determine the concentration of phosphate bound to the sediment and to compare the phosphate levels in stream sediment that is adjacent to agricultural areas with the levels in stream sediment in nonagricultural areas.
Chapter 10: Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Identification
Students collect aquatic insects to identify common macroinvertebrates that live in streams and wetlands and learn how these species can be indicators of water quality.
Chapter 11: Factors That Affect Eutrophication
Students design a lab testing the effect of different nutrients and nutrient levels on algae growth in pond water in order to investigate the concept of a “limiting nutrient” in algae growth.
Chapter 12: Groundwater Contamination
In this two-part investigation, students model groundwater flow and examine data on groundwater flow from an actual contaminated site in a watershed in order to track the flow of the contamination and see the effect of purge wells.
Appendix A: The Macatawa Watershed, Holland, Michigan
Appendix B: Lab Report Rubric
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National Standards Correlation
This resource has 28 correlations with the National Standards.
- Life Science
- Interdependence of organisms
- Human beings live within the world's ecosystems. (9-12)
- Increasingly, humans modify ecosystems as a result of population growth, technology, and consumption. (9-12)
- An example of habitat destruction is the draining and clearing of wetlands for farms, residential or commercial development. (9-12)
- Earth Science
- Structure of the earth system
- Land forms are the result of a combination of constructive and destructive forces. (5-8)
- Destructive forces include weathering and erosion. (5-8)
- A watershed is entire areas of land that are drained by a river.
- Aquifers are large amounts of ground water stored in underground rock formations.
- Science as Inquiry
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
- Use data to construct a reasonable explanation.
- Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data.
- Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.
- Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.
- Use technology and mathematics to improve investigations and communications. (9-12)
- Formulate and revise scientific explanations and models using logic and evidence. (9-12)
- Understandings about scientific inquiry
- Types of investigations include describing objects, events, and organisms; classifying them; and doing a fair test (experimenting).
- In presenting data, graphs are used to convey comparisons or trends. (9-12)
- Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
- Natural hazards
- Human activities also can induce hazards through waste disposal. Such activities accelerate many natural changes. (5-8)
- Landfill wastes can produce toxic chemicals which seep through the landfill presenting a hazard to the environment.
- Environmental quality
- A basic process that affects humans is the control of the hydrologic cycle. (9-12)
- A basic process that affects humans is the disposal of wastes, and recycling of nutrients. (9-12)
- Natural and human-induced hazards
- Human activities can enhance potential for hazards. (9-12)
- Natural and human-induced hazards present the need for humans to assess potential danger and risk. (9-12)
- Sci and Tech in local, natl, and global challenges
- Understanding science alone will not resolve local, national, or global challenges. (9-12)
- Humans have a major effect on other species. (9-12)
- History and Nature of Science
- Science as a human endeavor
- Science is not separate from society but rather science is a part of society. (9-12)
- Teaching Standards
- Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students.
- Select teaching and assessment strategies that support the development of student understanding and nurture a community of science learners.
- Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning. In doing this, teachers
- Encourage and model the skills of scientific inquiry, as well as the curiosity, openness to new ideas and data, and skepticism that characterize science.
- Orchestrate discourse among students about scientific ideas.
- Teachers provide students with the time, space, and resources needed to learn science.
- Create a setting for student work that is flexible and supportive of science inquiry.
“Chemistry teachers in Holland and Zeeland, Michigan, spent three summers studying the environmental anthropogenic effects on watersheds, and distilled the results into laboratory sessions for a high school experiment-based environmental science curriculum. Most of the labs examine the ecological consequences in a watershed as urbanization increases and natural hydrology changes, though some provide background information needed to complete later investigations. This volume serves as a textbook, laboratory manual, and workbook.”
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