³Itıs growing², exclaims an excited student, just one day after the experiment began. Students are busy, some move along the counters of the classroom inspecting specimens growing on labeled plates. Others observe the growth of bacteria under microscopes, while another small group works on the classroom computer recording their data on spreadsheets they have recently developed.
7th grade science students are responding to an urgent request from the principal to find what areas in their middle school have the most harmful bacteria. Middle Schools across the district, with the help of a local university are being asked to research areas that may be the cause of the spreading infection. It is winter and many students and teachers are absent with different types of viruses. Students will communicate between schools using the Internet program Blackboard a distance learning environment. They will use teleconferencing equipment at the local high school to communicate with experts around the country.
As part of the science curriculum, students study bacteria in a 8-lesson unit. The teacher breaks the class into groups of 3 to 4 so students can brainstorm how to go about the assignment. After a half-hour, the teacher checks in on the student's progress. Each group stated the need to know more about growing bacteria in a lab situation. They came up with a plan to find information on the Internet and to set up a tele-conferencing session with experts at a local university. Students decide to go around the school to different locations they thought were public enough for students to pick up bacterial infection. Examples were the boys and girls restrooms, water fountains, cafeteria, public telephones, computer keyboards, etc. Once the specimens are collected on ardor plates, students began to observe and count the growth of colonies. Students record their data on spreadsheets on the computer. They e-mail their findings to students in other schools. Through the process they learn to analyze data through discussions and tele-conferencing sessions. Students decide the type of product they want to design for their final presentation based on the technology they have available to them.
After several days of data recording and further research, students conclude their findings and produce a report for the principal. They compare results with students at other schools. Students are assessed by their lab write-ups and presentations to the school body.
Created for the Fermilab
LInC program sponsored by Fermi National
Accelerator Laboratory Education Office
and Friends of Fermilab, and
funded by United States Department of Energy,
Illinois State Board of Education,
North Central Regional Technology in Education
Consortium which is operated by North Central
Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National
Author(s): Lisa Parker from Montilieu Avenue Elementary School (email@example.com), Steve Abondolo from Northwest Middle School(firstname.lastname@example.org), and Pat Abondolo(email@example.com) from St. Pius X School
Greensboro, North Carolina
Created: February 15, 2001 - Updated: April 18, 2001