This is a collaborative project between three different schools (Pinellas Park Elementary, Morgan Fitzgerald Middle, Pinellas Park High School) and 6 grade levels (K, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). Students and teachers worked together to answer the question:
How do the differences in the environmental conditions at a "green space" and a "white space" affect temperature, humidity, wind direction and wind speed?
Students will answer this question through teacher instruction, field trips and by collecting and analyzing weather data. The weather data will be obtained from a school weather station (located on an asphalted roof- white space) and from an airport weather station (located in a grassy area-green space). All grade levels will collectively produce a virtual field trip by adding pieces that are appropriate to their level of understanding.
Recently we have noticed students not being engaged during class time due to the teacher centered methods of instruction. To increase student engagement we have decided to create a multilevel, collaborative "hands on" project to peak interest in scientific ideas. This is an amazing opportunity for our students to get out of the classroom and get into the field answering real life questions about our environment. They will be able to collect measurable data, interpret and analyze this data using scientific and mathematical tools being taught during class time. Students will use technology through all stages of the project and in the creation of a virtual field trip. Each grade level will contribute their expertise to the final product. This is the rare time in an academic career that students from one grade level will get to collaborate with and even mentor students from another grade level.