Project 1: Project Groundhog
What is Project Groundhog?
Project Groundhog is a project designed to introduce young learners to the possibilities of telecommunications technology through a meaningful, curriculum based inquiry. It is supported by STEM~Net and SchoolNet and is available to students and teachers throughout Canada (and further afield if you wish to subscribe.)
How Does it Work?
Project Groundhog engages students in exploring whether or not the groundhog is an accurate weather predictor. For the six weeks following Groundhog Day, February 2nd, students monitor and record the daily temperature and sky conditions. Students also record how often school was closed due to weather. The information collected is shared weekly with the participating schools via email and the Project Groundhog website.
Project Groundhog has a direct curriculum focus. It allows teachers to cover specific objectives in science, math, social studies, and Language Arts. It allows for the introduction of basic statistical analysis, graphing and charting.
Throughout the course of Project
Groundhog you may participate in many more online
activities depending on your time, and your students.
Some schools choose to make Project Groundhog the entire
curriculum focus for their students, others simply
collect and share their data. Some schools track all the
participating schools, others only one or two. Many
schools have had
How Do I Participate?
Project Groundhog works best if you have access to the internet through a world wide web browser such as Netscape. You can use a text based browser such as lynx but you won't get the pretty graphics and colours.
It is also possible to participate in Project Groundhog without the children having access to the online computer. The teacher can download the information and share it with the class. The student's data and other responses can be composed by the students and uploaded by the teacher. Like most good online projects, 90% of the learning in Project Groundhog takes place offline. This approach does require a little more of a committment of time and energy on behalf of the teacher. If this is the situation you are in, it is nice to try to allow the children at least one chance to see how the online side of the project works.
If you decide to participate in Project Groundhog, the following resources are available online: