Project 1: Enviro Search

Logo General Information
Project Overview
Goals
Curriculum Connections
Evaluation

  General Information

Lead Teachers: William Carter
wlcarter@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca
Address:Grandy's River Collegiate
P.O. Box 40
Burnt Islands, NF.
A0M 1C0
Grade Level:Levels II and III
Number of Students:25-30
Project Start and Finish Dates:April 7, 1997 -

  Project Overview

Due to the lack of information located in the school based on today's ever changing environment, it will be a tremendous help if students could search the Web to obtain information relating to their environment related courses. Also, it will give them a closer connection to what is actually happening out in the world.

  Goals

  • Students will learn the importance of the environment and why it is important to conserve and help repair the damages.
  • Students will gain better knowledge about environmental issues that are occurring all over the world.
  • Students will be able to relate environmental issues, from the perspective of other people around the world to their own personal views.
  • Students will be able to recognize the strong views, concerning the environment, of others outside the local community.

  Curriculum Connections

Environmental Science 3205

Language 2101

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of trying to solve environmental Issues.
  • To put together an informative base to supplement the text book.
  • To prepare a research paper or a topic important to them related to the environment.
Outcome for Technology Education:

The project also addresses the intended outcomes for technology education at the senior high level. These include:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the basic communication principles of encoding, decoding, transmitting, receiving, storing and retrieving and how they are employed in a variety of communications tools and media.
  • Develop multiple options for a solution and identify the most appropriate solution considering conservation of resources, suitability of the solution, the outcomes of the solutions, and the technical activity required to produce it.

  Evaluation

  • Students will do a research paper based on each topic chosen by the students.
  • Students will develop a science project based on the issues.

  Project Overview

Overview

Students were asked to search the Internet for a particular article on the controversial topic like "The Seal Hunt". The teacher gave detailed instructions in a handout on how to find the particular source. Once the article was found, students were asked to print the 2 page article and read its contents. Then they were asked to complete two independent searches. The task was to find one article which supported the continuation of a seal hunt and another article supporting the band of the seal hunt. Once the three articles were obtained, students were asked to type up a report stating their opinion on the above topic and back up their views using information found in the three articles.

Another search was completed on the question "Am I part of the problem or part of the solution?" (environmentally) Students were asked to carry out an independent search looking for one article that showed a company or group that contributed to the problem of our present environmental state of the earth and another article that showed a company or group that was trying to find solutions to our present environmental problems. Then they were asked to write a report on how they classified themselves as being either part of the solution or part of the problem. Each student was asked to write one action they completed that would be categorized as helpful or harmful to the environment.

Software Used

  • Word Perfect - Report write-up

  • Netscape - Searching for articles

Progress

One Environmental Class took on this project. They were warned that using the same article as a friend would not be tolerated. Since there are so many resources to choose from and the search was supposed to be carried out independently, this requirement should not have been a problem. Of the 21 students, two people used the same article which was a mere coincidence. A few students that were unfamiliar with the Internet had trouble finding the article needed in the first search. However, once they were coached by the teacher or a classmate, they were able to continue.

Problems

  • Due to timetable scheduling , Environmental class coincided with a computer class in the computer room everyday. Therefore, there was no time available during class to complete the searches. All searches had to be completed outside of class time.

  • Because the project was completed outside of class, it was very difficult to assist students with their difficulties or to identify where they were having problems.

  • The time of the search also coincided with the installation of the satellite connection. Therefore, the computer lab was not accessible for a few days.

  • Students found it difficult to obtain a free computer early in the mornings, recess time, and lunch time. Due to the location of the school, all students are bussed and many students felt that obtaining rides after school would be a problem.

Skills learned

  • How to search the Internet (independently)

  • Analyzing information from opposite views of an issue

  • How to make a "careful decision" based on information gathered instead of a impulsive, habit, or non-decision.

  • Prepare a report based on information obtained.

Teacher's Note

Scheduling was a major set back in this project. Students complained about the fact that no class time was given to complete the search. Therefore, this should be addressed, before future projects are established. This would also allow the teacher to give quality instruction and feedback instantaneously.

Overall, I personally think the students benefitted greatly from this project. Familiarizing themselves with this type of access, has been a positive experience for many. Obtaining different opinions on controversial issues has also been an enlightening and important exercise for these students. It was a worthwhile project!

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