Sunday, September 15, 2013

Year 2 Complete!!

The SMORE team completed the final sampling on Friday April 26. We had a pleasant weather day for our work out on the bay.

The team of students moved efficiently through the sampling and testing. One student commented that the day was really going by fast. I asked her why she thought that. She replied, “Maybe because we really know what we’re doing now and can do it quicker!” I told her that was probably true.

Watching them work, I can verify that they certainly had the routine down. It’s always rewarding to watch the progress they make throughout the year- moving from anxious moments at the beginning of the year (Am I doing this right??) to confidence in their new skills on their last trip to the bay.

With all the data collected, the following weeks were spent trying to make sense of what the measurements were telling us. The analysis is always the hardest part. I remind them that the same holds true for researchers as they try to make sense of all the data they collect in their fieldwork and in the lab.

It’s been a good year for our project. Sadly, we were not able to make a connection with a Barrow AK team. We have high hopes that the next school year will bring us  another partner classroom from Alaska. Ms. McCook and a new class of students in Hinesville GA will join us again for another year of coastal sampling and SMORE adventures. 

So for now, we sign off until next Fall. Congrats to the graduating 8th graders on our team for a job well done all year! We look forward to next school year and new SMORE Team!! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall Sampling a Success!

Oct 15

The 2012 SMORE Team hit the road early on the 28th of September to conduct the first sampling of the season.  Students had practiced their individual tests over several class times in preparation. There were a variety of tests and techniques used for assessing the water quality. 

 Besides the chemical testing, students made visual observations of the 3 sites. This provided great information that they used later for analyzing their data.

                                                           Surveying the environment
Learning scientific procedures alongside science content gives the students the opportunity to make real-life applications to their learning.

The sites we sampled were the same as last year – important for monitoring change. Last year, Texas was in a historic drought. This year, we’ve had more rain. The question posed was “how will this change what we find?”
                                                                      Soil testing
SMORE Georgia and SMORE Alaska also conducted their sampling this past month. We’ re in the process of exchanging data to compare this year’s sampling. Students will also compare their data to last year’s. 
High Island, Bolivar Peninsula

Dr. Tish Yager (University of Georgia), our mentor scientist and partner in SMORE, joined us in a teleconference this past week. This first call was a get-to-know-you. We tried hard to get the Georgia classroom connected with us, but technology failed us. We hope to schedule another call with both Georgia and Alaska students.

 Dr. Tish Yager

Like last year, we plan to sample again in the winter (Jan-Feb) and spring (Apr-May). In between, we hope to produce some new podcasts and videos about our work, and share any ocean science news.  So check back periodically to follow our progress! 

For now, follow the link below to see a short Vimeo video about our first sampling put together by a SMORE parent!

 Even parents are put to work!!