Tuesday, May 31, 2016

myObservatory goes to school

Last week I went and met with eight classes of eighth graders at the Sandwich STEM Academy to introduce them to myObservatory.  Later this week and again next week I will be accompanying them on field trips to collect data at two different beaches.  Our in-class lesson focused on how to orient yourself with a map and how to interpret photo data.

Students were really interested in the map activities.  I had them try to locate a landmark on a zoomed in map of our region.  I was amazed that more students could not identify their school or the nearby waterway of Scortons Creek.  I look forward to using this experience to design a map orientation activity for future students.

Another myObservatory tool that we used is the newly added "Story Viewer" feature.  The story viewer allows you to see a photo on one side and the map location of that photo on the other side.  It was especially fun to talk with students about tide using these images.  In the example below notice that the map view shows the marsh at low tide.  Students observed the empty drainage ditches and sand bars in the creek.  And the photo on the left shows the location at high tide where ditches are barely visible.  What a fun way to connect ideas!

The eighth graders were all signed up for a myObservatory account.  When we are in the field they will be able to use their own login account to record data from the trip.  I am looking forward to spending a few data days at the beach!

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