Maps of Ecosystems

Very nice maps of North America by region or by states, in a variety of different levels of detail, are available from http://www.epa.gov/wed/pages/ecoregions.htm

If you ask nicely you can sometimes get a large classroom copy mailed to you.

 

One example of how to use this is to post them side-by-side with a geology map of the same area, or a precipitation map and have the students looks for similarities and patterns in the distribution of vegetation types and the surface geology.  They can also look for patterns in the distribution of vegetation types and the amount of precipitation, or of any other weather characteristic you might be able to generate maps of.  Shown is Oklahoma but these are available for most states and regions.

Free Green School Training, with STEM components

OK GREEN SCHOOLS 2012 TRAINING REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
Please register below for one (or more) of our five FREE Oklahoma Green Schools Training sessions. Join us for one of these events to learn how the Oklahoma Green Schools Program works, review the Project Learning Tree (PLT) GreenSchools Investigations in the five topics: ENERGY, WATER, WASTE & RECYCLING, ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, and SCHOOL SITE (includes STEM-related activities), participate in small group discussions and peruse the toolkit. All sessions will be held from 9:00-11:00 am (except Weatherford which will be from 4:00-6:00 pm). Refreshments for each session are sponsored by Greenstar Recycling.

PLEASE DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO REGISTER! If we do not have at least fifteen (15) registrants three days prior to each event, the training session will be cancelled. You can help us increase registration by passing this email on to other folks you know who might be interested. We hope to see you in July or August at one of these events!

Click here to register: http://www.okgreenschools.org/okgs-training/

(View dates & locations below. Additional details are available on the website)

July 19—4:00 to 6:00 pm—Weatherford (SWOSU )
Host: Marie Pool, Clinton High School
Location: Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU), 100 Campus Drive, Weatherford, OK 73096

July 24—9:00 to 11:00am—Metro Career Academy— Oklahoma City (+optional tour)
Host: Barbara Loudermilk, Principal
Location: Metro Career Academy, 201 N.E. 48th, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
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July 31—Ada: East Central University (ECU)
Host: Dr. Douglas Weirick, Chair—ECU Department of Environmental Health Science
Location: ECU Physical and Environmental Sciences (PES) Building, Room 262

Aug 2—Bartlesville: OSU Extension Office (Dewey – suburb)
Host: Gale Mills, OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educator
Location: Washington County Extension Office, 205 E 12th Street, PO Box 10, Dewey OK 74029

Aug 9 —Stillwater: Skyline Elementary (+optional tour)
Host: Andrea Rains, Skyline Principal
Location: 1402 E. Sunrise Ave., Stillwater, OK 74075

Thank you for your interest in our program!
Please direct questions to: info@oklahomagreenschools.org

Physics workshop for all levels – elementary and up

Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers:

  • 2012 AAPT/PTRA ToPPS II: Designed for In-Service Oklahoma Teachers of Physics and Physical Science, this professional development opportunity is a 5-day summer institute (with 2 follow-up sessions during the 2012 – 2013 academic year).  This is a very “hands-on,” “minds-on” professional development opportunity.  Those seeking to enhance their students’ learning in physics and physical science are encouraged to apply!
  • Details:

o   Summer institute runs July 9 – 13that the Alva campus of Northwestern Oklahoma State University

o   $600 stipend ($400 at end of 5-day summer institute; $100 for each follow-up session)

o   Free instructional/curriculum materials endorsed by AAPT (American Association of Physics Teachers)

o   High-tech and Low-tech equipment used

o   This year’s topics: Energy, Momentum and Impulse

o   Total of 40 hours of professional development (30 in July, 5 at each follow-up session)

o   Free on-site housing (if staying in dorms)

o   Website:  www.nwosu.edu/ToPPS

o   Participants may enroll in 3 hours of graduate EDUC, PHYS or PHSC credit to apply toward an advanced degree

o   A $100 refundable check will be required of applicants (checks will be returned at the close of the summer institute)

While this PD opportunity is designed for HS physics teachers, MS and ES teachers may also apply.  We are fully aware that science teachers wear many hats, and we want to encourage teachers of all grade levels to consider this opportunity.

 

Please let list members know that they can contact me directly if they have any questions.

 

Thank You!

Steve

 

Steven J. Maier, PhD

Chair, Department of Natural Science

Associate Professor of Physics

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Science Building 107-B

709 Oklahoma Blvd.

Alva, OK  73717

 

sjmaier@nwosu.edu

580.327.8562 (o)

580.327.8556 (f)

Project WILD schedule for fall, 2012

I have mentioned Project WILD elsewhere; it’s a great set of resources for teaching conservation concepts.   Our Oklahoma contact and high-energy presenter is Lisa Anderson; okprojectwild@fullnet.net, (405) 990-1292.  She can also schedule events at your school if you can get at least 15 participants.  The workshops are six hours long and cost $15 each.

The following Saturday workshops are currently scheduled for open participation at Arcadia Lake (near Edmond.  Contact Lisa to register or for more information:

June 23 – Project WILD

June 30 – Growing up WILD

Sept 8 – WILD about reading

Sept 22 – Project WILD

October 27 – Growing up WILD

Fish Prints – Where will gyotaku take you?

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the horrible pun.  This is an art activity that teaches science.  Gyotaku is the art of putting ink or paint on a fish and then rubbing the fish onto paper.  You can make the print on paper, fabric or even T-shirts.  You can use it as-is, you can hand-color details, you can add any way you want to and even add schools of fish.

A few minutes of searching the web for gyotaku images and you’ll be hooked.  There are also some great how-to videos on youtube.

You can use real fish or you can buy rubber casts of fish.  In either case you can rinse off the ink or tempera paint and use the fish over and over.  If you use real fish you can simply re-freeze them in individual plastic bags.  A good source for rubber casts of fish is Acorn Naturalists.  They have a great online catalog at http://www.acornnaturalists.com/

Don’s hints:  Use a good grade of paper.  Copy paper won’t take the ink nearly as well as art paper and you want your students to have a good experience!   Practice first.  Try intergrading different colors of ink on the same fish!  Add fins and other details by hand – just use the fish print for the basics.  With some papers and some inks it works better to slightly mist the paper with water first.  Finally, it is usually better to ink the fish and then place the paper on top rather than the other way around.  Gently pat the paper around the fish and then remove, dry and admire it!

You can also use the same technique to add some plants and make a scene, but plants don’t generally print nearly as clearly as the fish do.  Shells work nicely;  they have more texture.

Where is the science?  This forces the students to concentrate on the form and the details.  Now you can talk about the different parts of a fish and the different fins.  You can related structure to function – different body shapes and different mouth shapes for different purposes.  A diagram to label of parts of a fish will make a lot more sense after this activity than if it were before!  A good follow-up activity for younger students is the free sample activity “Fishing Fun”  from Project WILD at http://www.projectwild.org/growingupwild.htm

Project WILD

Project WILD – one of the most-used sets of environmental education curricula in the US. grades K-8 with some flexibility in the grade levels. You can’t buy the materials – it’s given to you when you attend in one-day (or more) workshop. You get the books while the actual materials are simple and cheap.

Don’s hint – get a plastic bin for each activity you will use and keep it pre-loaded with all of the things, be they paper towels, paper clips, whatever.  Add a few empty trash bags and a photocopy of the exercise and the teacher’s hints.  Then you can just grab and run.

A lot of learning about conservation, environmental and ecological principles can be taught through games and activities.  Project WILD and its companion, Project WET serve to provide the teacher with dozens of such activities that have been teacher-written, then teacher-tested, and revised so that they just simply work.  Most are keyed to objectives.  Read more at http://www.projectwild.org/

One more thing – here a free sample lesson.  It’s for young children, and it’s about how fish use their bodies when they swim.  http://www.projectwild.org/GrowingUpWILD.htm and click on the “Sample Activity”.

Ghost Towns in Oklahoma

We will bring the history lesson (and posts) to an end today – what better place than ghost towns.   Here is a list of nearly 100 in Oklahoma!  Surely there is one near you.  These all have links and many of them have comments and images.  You can add to the list and you can add your images.   Sounds to me like a great place to begin (or end) a research project.   So here’s the link, and tomorrow we’ll get back to science in the GSO – the Great State of Oklahoma.

http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/ok/ok.html

History of Oklahoma Highways

Today seems to have evolved into an Oklahoma History theme.  Fine, let it go in that direction then.  Here is another one of Wes Kinsler’s sites that I have used often. This one is about the history of Oklahoma Highways.  It’s good for armchair traveling, either down the highway or backwards into time.

http://okhighways.wkinsler.com/