HR: 1340h
AN: ED23A-1237    [Abstracts]
TI: Lessons Learned From Studying The Effects Of Forest Fires With High School Students
AU: * Kanjorski, N
AF: Science Education Solutions, 4200 W. Jemez Rd., Suite 301, Los Alamos, NM 87544
AU: Hall, M
AF: Science Education Solutions, 4200 W. Jemez Rd., Suite 301, Los Alamos, NM 87544
AU: Sundberg, F
AF: Show Low High School, 550 W. Old Linden Rd., Show Low, AZ 85901
AB: We evaluated the educational successes and challenges of a high school research project designed to assess the effects of a wildfire and subsequent logging on soil erosion during the 2004-2005 school year. The project is extra-curricular for students from Show Low High School in Arizona. Fieldwork is done on Saturdays and lab work is done during lunch periods and after school sessions. Using a silt fence, shovels, and brushes, students collect and measure erosion rates of unburned, burned, and burned and logged land. The project has involved 17 students, 3 female and 14 male students, and their two science teachers. A key goal of the project is to introduce a group of high school students to the process of scientific inquiry through fieldwork and scientific research. A core requirement of this project is that the students will be self-motivated and will lead all major field and laboratory efforts. Interviews of the students and teachers in the fall of 2004 and spring of 2005 are the primary source of the assessment of this project in addition to data collected by informal interviews during two field trips. Consistent student participation was a main challenge to this project in the first year. While most students continued with the program throughout the year, participation was sporadic and generally low during any one class or field session. This is partially due to not having a set schedule for activities and the challenge for students to self-motivate. Interestingly, despite their actual amount of involvement in the project, the students all consider themselves active members of the project and are generally proud of their efforts. To increase the consistency of student participation in the coming year a regular semester schedule has been set and student time and effort requirements have been increased and explicitly stated. Students have a great amount of choice in which role they will fulfill in the project, and which data gathering and analysis skills they want to learn and apply. In general the project has been successful in significantly exciting a core group of students about science and has the potential to influence these students' undergraduate and career choices.
DE: 0805 Elementary and secondary education
DE: 0820 Curriculum and laboratory design
DE: 0825 Teaching methods
SC: Education and Human Resources [ED]
MN: Fall Meeting 2005