This year, I have 157 sixth graders in my science classes. My students love science! They are always exciting about labs and investigations! They enjoy building spaghetti towers, learning to use a triple beam balance, observing the changes in Gobstoppers when you put them in water or vinegar, using radio telemetry receivers, and building and fine-tuning K'nex roller coasters!
Our school is a place where we want our students to feel safe and where we want them to know that they can make a difference and that they can be someone's hero.
Science is a tested subject on our state standardized test, so we have a lot of content to teach each year, but it is even more important to me that students enjoy what we are doing in class and learn life skills like problem-solving and critical thinking.
With ten insect vacuum guns and fifteen bug collection nets, my classes will have the necessary materials to collect, observe, and identify the insects around our school. Students will record the data regarding the name and number of each insect type. After taking a picture or identifying them, students will release the live insects. We will then create bar graphs and pie charts using this authentic and student-collected data. I hope that in future years, we will be able to collect data in late summer and in early spring. This will allow students to compare both sets of data and to make more complex graphs, like double bar graphs.
“What’s Buzzing Around?” is a citizen science project that will give my students the opportunity to collaboratively observe and identify pollinating insects around our school.
They will collect data about the insects they find, then use the data for making bar graphs, pie charts, and double bar graphs.
My goals for this project involve giving my students an opportunity to understand, appreciate, and enjoy an investigation into the importance of pollinating insects. I want them to become citizen scientists, regular people who study the world. As they practice being citizen scientists, I hope they learn to take care of our world and all the living things in it.
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