Category Archives: Environments
Click here for a summary of our recent student-designed Grade 10 (MYP5) Environmental Sciences unit that we planned for students to design and implement. I used this project as my trial for Hapara, a GoogleDocs dashboard system.
In summary, using this as a management tool allowed for a smooth and highly differentiated, student-led inquiry unit in MYP 5 Environmental Science. Find out more.
As we finish our Exploring Environments student-designed units, students have published blog posts for the science communication assessed task. In this task, assessed for Communication in Science, they had to pick a case study or current news item of interest and direct connection to their group’s unit. Using guidance, models of good science writing, GoogleDocs drafting (and for some, pointers from professional science writer Andy Revkin), they wrote short articles on their case study.
There’s no point writing for an audience of one, so…
..here they are!
If you do visit and feel like posting a comment, remember that these are school students, and that your comments must be appropriate, constructive and positive.
- Maggie’s post on fighting Aricanized bees with… more bees!
- Heather’s post on invasive mussels and their damaging impacts.
- Parina’s post on 13 oils spills in 30 days (!)
- Joanna’s post on Australia burning.
- Kyoko’s post on painting the roof white to cool the town.
- Rohan’s post on the cost of shark finning.
- Sanam’s post on the end of the reign of the king of butterflies.
- Stephanie’s post on cell phones and honeybees.
- Mahya’s post on Australia’s new colour on the temperature chart.
- TaeHyun’s post on spring floods and the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.
- Yota’s post on Sea Shepherd vs Japan.
- Aili’s post on bluefin tuna being worth too much dead to be allowed to live.
- Cedric’s post on the mystery of the dead pigs in China.
- Mikka’s post on the shrinking Antarctic ozone hole.
- Haruki’s post on the highest global temperatures in 4,000 years.
“How do we head through nine billion people by around 2050 without really screwing up too much?”
Andy Revkin writes the DotEarth blog for the New York Times, and has been writing about the environment for almost thirty years. His topics are diverse (and his Twitter stream rich with links) and connected to much of what our students have chosen to explore in our current Environmental Sciences unit in Grade 10 (MYP5).*
He very kindly agreed to G+ Hangout with some students before school, to discuss science writing in general and how he masters his craft on the environment beat. We learned a lot from Andy, and loved his assertion that he is not a ‘doom and gloom’ writer, but that the environment is different, and more complex than we first thought.
Here are links to some of the ideas & issues he mentioned in the chat:
- His ‘Postcards’ series, snapshots of science and environmental research
- Psychology & the environment
- Schools and syllabuses designed with the environment in mind
- Twitter in the classroom
- Obama and the National Academy of Sciences
- Will we have fewer, more dangerous hurricanes?
- The Burning Season book: the murder of Chico Mendez
*As part of our current Grade 10 Environmental Science unit, students have broken into groups depending on their interests and IBDP Sciences choices. They have designed their own unit content, though assessment types are common – a lab they design, a test we’ll write based on their chosen assessment statements and a piece of science writing. I’ll dedicate a whole post to how the unit worked once we’re done.
For the science writing task, students are asked to find real-life articles, case-studies or stimulus materials that will provide a context for some of their content. We showed them some models, of great science writing, but I realised my Twitter lists were light on environment writers.
A quick tweet (and some follow-up emails) fixed all that:
Thanks again to Andy for chatting to us – it was a great opportunity to talk to a real pro.
It is also evidence, once again, that Twitter can be an amazing tool for classes and professional development.
Felix Baumgartner is ready to jump! Follow the live feed below, or on the Red Bull Stratos website. His aim is to jump from the edge of space, breaking the sound barrier in freefall. Whoo!
Here’s a CGI simulation of what’s expected:
TED 2012 is underway and they have been posting some of the talks to their website. Here is a pair of talks which showcase different views of where we are in the world right now – each of them linking to our units on Environmental Science. You can also follow them on the Guardian’s liveblog.
In the first, Paul Gilding states that “The Earth is full,” but that it takes times of real crisis for us to create solutions and climb out of the hole we have dug for ourselves.
In this one, Peter Diamandis argues that we are living in a time of abundance and that human ingenuity will get us out of our problems.
EDIT – 4th March
These talks which have also been published are relevant to the issues we are studying in class. Have fun watching them!
Daniel Pauly: The ocean’s shifting baseline
Paul Snelgrove: A census of the ocean