LabVenture: Students collect data throughout their LabVenture! experience to help them answer the questions that they were given, such as taking photographs, looking closer through microscopes, or making measurements.
This Activity: Students collect data from their study sites to help them answer the questions that they chose to focus on.
Vital Signs:


Field Visit #2

Goal: Collect data from your field site.

Question: How do scientists collect data?

Activity:

Look at the list of questions your students will focus on: What do we need for equipment?

For Example:

What is the longitude and latitude? - GPS devices, find study site on Google Earth to look up long/lat, or use a map with long/lat.
What is the water temperature? - thermometer
What types of trees/plants grow at the site? - field guide, camera, sketch pad/pencil, baggies for collecting leaves/bark/branches/cones/fruit/seeds
What animals can you find at the site? - field guide, camera, sketch pad/pencil, baggies for collecting evidence of animals
How does the site change between seasons? - thermometer, camera, sketch pad/pencil

Divide class into teams to collect data at the site. Each team could focus on a different question, or they could rotate through the questions and work at "stations" to allow for equipment sharing.

Procedures for Data Collection:

For Example:

What is the longitude and latitude?
  • If using a GPS device, select a central location of your study site to take a reading. Have each team take a long/lat reading and record it.

What is the water temperature?
  • With a thermometer, have each student in each team take a reading of the water temperature and record it.
  • Depending upon your site, you could expand on this question by looking at the water temperature at the surface, at arms length depth, upriver, downriver...

What types of trees/plants grow at the site?
Identifying species is difficult - stress that students can collect information about species to help with this process, and describing thins is just as important. Have each team select one tree, and one smaller plant.
  • Have each team take photographs and/or draw a sketch of the plant species.
    • Entire Species
    • Close up of leaf/needle
    • Close up of bark
  • Collect leaf/needle, seeds, cones, bark sample and place in labeled baggie - make sure that you have a way of identifying which baggie goes with each photo/sketch

What animals can you find at the site?
Identifying species is difficult - stress that students can collect information about species to help with this process, and describing things is just as important.
  • Give each team 20 minutes to explore the field site and look for a living creature (or evidence of one such as a nest, scat, burrow, or footprints). Encourage them to look up, around, and under things. Bring a net along to see if anything is in the water - looking under rocks there too is a great ideas as well.
  • When students find something living, have them take photographs and/or sketch the animal.
    • Zoomed in
    • Zoomed out
    • If possible, include something for scale, such as a ruler, pencil, or place it in your hand.
  • If students find evidence of animals, collect it in a baggie if possible, if not take photographs or draw sketches.

How does the site change between seasons?
This can be done if multiple field visits are done throughout the year to your site. During each visit, have students collect the same information, such as:
  • General Observations
  • Water Temperature
  • Air Temperature
  • Photographs

In classroom: Re-Visit your Question, "How do scientists collect data?" Stress that they were scientists collecting data in the field, and have them reflect on their experience.

Teacher Survey

Student Survey