This is from the 2001 Particles and Prairies Sampler.
See the 2006 Sampler

Ed Home - Sampler Index - Teacher Workshop

Activities - Kit - AV Materials - Bibliography - Credits

Introductory Video:

A five-minute video introduces students to the prairie and their roles as researchers. (in kit)

Prairie Preview Slides:

These slides will provide students with the visual background to enable them to identify the more common prairie organisms. The slides are Fermilab site specific and are of organisms likely to be encountered on the field trip. (in kit)

Prairie Laser Disc:

A Fermilab site specific laser disc has been developed for use manually or with a bar code reader. There is a separate laser disc manual and throughout the resource guide bar codes appear for selected topics. (available at cost from Fermilab)

Interactive Video:

An important component of the Particles and Prairies program is the interactive video station, the integration of video, audio and computer graphics and animation on a Macintosh computer with a videodisc player and video monitor. The Particles and Prairies program won the Award of Excellence and the Gold Award in the Education, K-12 category in The NewMedia INVISION 1993 Multimedia Award Competition. The videodisc contains video and images including approximately 900 slides with 600 slides of animals and plants of the prairie. The remainder of the 30-minute program on the videodisc consists of short video segments on the reconstruction project, early history of the site of the Fermilab prairie, the Fermilab prairie as an "outdoor lab," and abiotic and biotic components of the prairie. Videodisc technology allows random access of these videodisc "bites." All of the material is tied together by software in which related video "bites" are linked. For example, in the abiotic component, students can view video on the wind. Afterward they had the choice of learning more about other abiotic components or learning about seed dispersal. The seed dispersal segment is also available under the topic of plants and insects.

Students visiting the Lederman Science Center will have an opportunity to use the station as part of their field trip. If you have the time and the disk space, try downloading these quicktime movies:

You can also see the video and slides from the Particles and Prairies videodisc on the web. You will need the RealPlayer to see the video.

Software will allow students to explore the video material interactively and play games related to the various topics. Unlike a videotape or book, multimedia is a nonlinear experimental medium. The interactivity provided with the computer allows a student to have control of space and move quickly from one subject area to another without being constrained by the medium. It engages more that one sense. For example, a concentration game introduces student to the calls of prairie birds. Students are motivated to learn because they can control what they view and can focus on areas of particular interest or topics requiring clarification. They can see aspects of the prairie that they might miss in one visit to the prairie, such as part of the prairie not open to the public or the prairie in different seasons. A series of slides show the changes of the prairie over a two-year period. Another series shows how the prairie changes over three months after a burn. Students can us a controller to watch their time-lapse series.

The software is also a tool for identification. For example, after determining the color and blooming time, they can search through images of plants looking at all plants with that color and blooming time. Once they identify the plant, they can print out the description to take back with them to school. (on site, can be used by three of four students at a time)

Program Contact: Spencer Pasero -
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Last Update: March 6, 2001