4 April Science 7 Finish Focused Field Study Report

Finish Focused Field Study report. Check/proofread. Have a classmate read and comment on your report. Upload properly into your DSN. Have a copy printed and turned in. Make sure your name and period appear on the report itself. Ask if you have a question. All of these things need to be completed 10 minutes before the end of the class today (Wed. early release schedule).

See previous blog(s) for information: <http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2018/04/02/1-april-science-7-work-on-focused-field-study-report/>

Homework for Friday (If you finish early today you may begin during class):

Review your notes and the class blogpost from our first class this semester where we discussed the final passage from Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species.

Watch the story of Alfred Russel Wallace whose ideas about natural selection were announced at the same time as Darwin’s. This is a remarkable story in the history of science as a major explanation was reached by two different scientists independently. (Note, when I taught Science 7 at the Singapore American School, we visited some of the places described in this documentary.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1eQ6DadodA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of 7th graders from Singapore American School exploring the forest of Gunung Ledang or Mount Ophir in Malaysia. This site is mentioned in the documentary about Alfred Russel Wallace.

See: http://wallacefund.info/content/1858-darwin-wallace-paper

Read Wallace’s paper: On the Tendency of Varieties to depart indefinitely from the Original Type. (This was sent from Ternate. What can you find out about this place?)

 

 

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3 April Science 8 Presentations on Simulated Rivers; Announcing summative on Watershed/Water Cycle Story 5 April

Dead Sea Water. What do you think? The Jordan River flows into the Dead Sea–the lowest point on earth. Lower than Sea Level.

 

Presentations today from each group. 10 minutes / group. 15 minutes at the beginning of class for last minute prep/practice. Allow time for questions and comments. Post presentation here–include names and period:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1yArjA3bc5wixhnXhlYwI5fqhx_VaDIYQ?usp=sharing

On Thursday you will have the entire period to handwrite on lined paper your story. You may have notes and an outline. The time will not be extended beyond the class time. Plan, prepare, practice what you want to write. See criteria below for this summative project.

A couple of references on water:

(Original) Story based on work with simulations, experiments with aspects of cycles. Inspired by Primo Levi’s carbon.  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRmQ6ySjwRs> <https://www3.nd.edu/~skandel/CHEM10101/Main_Page_files/primo_levi_carbon_excerpt.pdf>

Trace the route/journey of a water molecule.

  • (Original) Story (open format–includes your choice of style and register–could be narrative prose 1st or 3rd person; could be poetic; could be graphic) (For meeting, your story needs to go beyond a typical elementary school treatment; it should be more thoughtful and sophisticated than any story you have tried before.)
  • Movement of matter and energy
  • Include the following stops and transitions (or the equivalent). Transitions involve energy transformations.
  • Each phase. Sold, liquid, gas.
  • Freezing, melting, evaporating, sublimating, condensing, precipitating, flowing, percolating (into soil), moving through plants-transpiring.
  • Appearance in you as a living system: drinking, part of food, blood, cellular water, sweating, breathing vapor, passing urine.
  • Appearance in your house (where does your water come from, how is it used, where does it go. Cooking, washing, flushing, drinking).
  • Movement on land in India (make reference to your rafting and to what you learned by experimenting with model rivers)
  • Travel through plants without being decomposed and reconstituted just transpired.
  • Travel through plants to take part in photosynthesis and decomposed. The reborn as a new molecule as a result of photosynthesis and transpired.
  • Travel through plant and become part of a fruit.
  • Oceans, lakes, deep aquifers where it can rest for a long time.

A really good story will be engaging and will make realistic reference to time, magnitude, and scale. Fictional devices and fantasy should not override reality. Enough detail that the science is not over-simplified; not so much detail that the thread of the story gets lost. Audience (intelligent and knowledgeable 9th grader who is a good reader)

  • PS standards from 3 strands
  • SEP
  • Developing and using models
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and using information
  • CC
  • Systems and system models
  • Energy and matter
  • DCI
  • M and E in org and eco
  • M and E in earth systems

How will you deal with these competing claims?

  • “The earth’s oceans, ice caps, glaciers, lakes, rivers, soils and atmosphere contains about 1.5 billion cubic kilometers of H2O. It has been estimated that all the earth’s water is split by plant cells and reconstituted by the biota about every2,000,000 years.” The Oxygen Cycle by Preston Cloud and Araron Gibor (1970)
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2 April Science 7 Work on Focused Field Study Report

Summative description: Focused field study

  1. Students design and carry out a naturalistic field investigation(with a finer focus than the Biodiversity Survey). Attention is directed toward a specific organism / population / interaction.
  2. Data is collected and analyzed.
  3. Analysis is made and conclusions drawn with respect to structures, behaviors, successful reproduction and / or population.
  4. Notice the performance indicator from the Next Generation Science Standards:
Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
  1. Presentation of survey and analysis in a format appropriate to the study decided by individual students in consultation with teacher.
  • SEP
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
  • CC
  • Structure and function
  • Stability and change
  • DCI
  • Growth, development, and reproduction of Organisms
  • Natural selection and adaptations

Report outline (text, presentation, poster, other)

  • Paper copy / hard copy.
  • Electronic copy in digital science notebook. Link on blog with comment/reflection—see below.
  • Introduction:
  • Explanation of how the report is organized.
  • Question.
  • Expectation. (Suspected answer to the question and why.
  • Background:
  • Information from reading other reliable and cited sources (includes videos and websites).
  • At least 3 sources.
  • Methods:
  • How observations were made. (Minimum total observation time = 60 minutes)
  • How data were analyzed.
  • Results/Data:
  • Organized. Well-presented. Labeled and described.
  • Counts.
  • Measures.
  • Calculations.
  • Graphs.
  • Verbal descriptions and anecdotal records.
  • Sketches / drawings / diagrams / maps
  • Photographs. (May be separate, linked well-labelled files). Captions and descriptions.
  • Video segments (may be linked to youtube uploads—on middle school channel). Captions and descriptions.
  • Analysis:
  • Link the results to question to background to growth, development, reproduction, adaptation. Refer to expectation.
  • Conclusion:
  • Short summary of investigation and findings. New questions. Suggestion for new methods / improved methods.
  • Reference list:
  • Full bibliographic citations–including any images for which you have permission

Comment:

  • Reflection posted in DSN with link to report.
  • A substantial reflection of what you noticed through both field studies. Describe your experience of observing nature in the school yard. What thoughts do you have about how nature relates to you and you to nature?
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23 March Science 8 Prepare group presentation for simulated river

Prepare for Presentation to take place the week after break (on 3 April).

Presentation (10 minutes maximum):

You and your group will need to decide how to illustrate, describe, and explain your stream simulation investigation in a multimedia presentation. Judicious use of photos, videos, diagrams, graphs, and data are an important part of the presentation. Be sure to attend to the following:

  • Experimental methods
  • Control of variables
  • Repeated trials
  • Observables (descriptive, quantitative—counts and measures)
  • Analysis and Interpretation
  • Explaining the observed simulated river landforms—their origin and development–principles and mechanisms of the effect of flowing water on the landscape and the effect of the landscape on the way water flows)
  • Links to actual river landforms
  • Tests of the explanations (evidence is gathered to support or challenge explanations)
  • Organization and display of data
  • Clarity, completeness, and accuracy of the presentation
  • Big ideas—significance of watershed to the water cycle; importance of people understanding watersheds with regard to human impact on the environment

Consult references on streams for ideas and questions about what to observe and how to observe. See previous blogposts for questions and ideas to address and include:

Presentations due 3 April.

Summative due 5 April:

Earth Cycle Summative

(a reference to stimulate your thinking–How do the properties of the substance impact large scale cycles on the earth–“Yes, small but Mighty, The Moleculer Called Water” by Natalie Angier:<http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/10/science/10angi.html>)

(Original) Story based on work with simulations, experiments with aspects of cycles. Inspired by Primo Levi’s carbon (see links that follow).

https://transitionnetwork.org/sites/www.transitionnetwork.org/files/CarbonStoryByPrimoLevi.pdf

http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/periodic-primo.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRmQ6ySjwRs

Trace the route of a water molecule.

  • (Original) Story (open format–all text or illustrated text–like a graphic novel)
  • Movement of matter and energy
  • Include the following stops and transitions (or the equivalent). Transitions involve energy transformations.
  • Each phase. Sold, liquid, gas.
  • Freezing, melting, evaporating, sublimating, condensing, precipitating, flowing, percolating (into soil),moving through plants-transpiring.
  • Appearance in you as a living system: drinking, part of food, blood, cellular water, sweating, breathing vapor, passing urine.
  • Appearance in your house (where does your water come from, how is it used, where does it go. Cooking, washing, flushing, drinking.
  • Movement on land in India (make reference to your rafting and to what you learned by experimenting with model rivers)
  • Travel through plants without being decomposed and reconstituted just transpired.
  • Travel through plants to take part in photosynthesis and decomposed. The reborn as a new molecule as a result of photosynthesis and transpired.
  • Travel through plant and become part of a fruit.
  • Oceans, lakes, deep aquifers where it can rest for a long time.

A really good story will be engaging and will make realistic reference to time, magnitude, and scale. Fictional devices and fantasy should not override reality. Enough detail that the science is not over-simplied; not so much detail that the threat of the story gets lost. Audience (intelligent and knowledgeable 9th grader who is a good reader)

  • PS standards from 3 strands
  • SEP
  • Developing and using models
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and using information
  • CC
  • Systems and system models
  • Energy and matter
  • DCI
  • M and E in org and eco
  • M and E in earth systems

How will you deal with these competing claims?

  • “The earth’s oceans, ice caps, glaciers, lakes, rivers, soils and atmosphere
  • contains about 1.5 billion cubic kilometers of H2O. It has been estimated that all
  • the earth’s water is split by plant cells and reconstituted by the biota about every
  • 2,000,000 years.” The Oxygen Cycle by Preston Cloud and Araron Gibor (1970)
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21 March Science 7 Focused Field Study–Data gathering and/or Report Writing

Continue gathering data on your focused field study OR work on your report. See previous blogposts. Read carefully. The report (see previous blogpost) on your Focused Field Study will be due 3 April.

Dates: 21 March–Work on Report; Gather additional data, if needed, 1 April Work on Report, 3 April Report due.

http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2018/03/09/9-march-science-7-begin-focused-field-study/

Topics and students:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Tz_X7EhPgGZR6PnjO2IV3OBDFWd-iKTav4z4QFZ_sWo/edit?usp=sharing

Pictures from field study (let me know if you have some to upload and I will give you editing privileges):

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1dvSvPTkxd2LghaNyMriyNa-iyRg1Mvbz?usp=sharing

Summative description: Focused field study

  1. Students design and carry out a naturalistic field investigation(with a finer focus than the Biodiversity Survey). Attention is directed toward a specific organism / population / interaction.
  2. Data is collected and analyzed.
  3. Analysis is made and conclusions drawn with respect to structures, behaviors, successful reproduction and / or population.
  4. Notice the performance indicator from the Next Generation Science Standards:
Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
  1. Presentation of survey and analysis in a format appropriate to the study decided by individual students in consultation with teacher.
  • SEP
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
  • CC
  • Structure and function
  • Stability and change
  • DCI
  • Growth, development, and reproduction of Organisms
  • Natural selection and adaptations

Report outline (text, presentation, poster, other)

  • Paper copy / hard copy.
  • Electronic copy in digital science notebook. Link on blog with comment/reflection—see below.
  • Introduction:
  • Explanation of how the report is organized.
  • Question.
  • Expectation. (Suspected answer to the question and why.
  • Background:
  • Information from reading other reliable and cited sources (includes videos and websites).
  • At least 3 sources.
  • Methods:
  • How observations were made. (Minimum total observation time = 60 minutes)
  • How data were analyzed.
  • Results/Data:
  • Organized. Well-presented. Labeled and described.
  • Counts.
  • Measures.
  • Calculations.
  • Graphs.
  • Verbal descriptions and anecdotal records.
  • Sketches / drawings / diagrams / maps
  • Photographs. (May be separate, linked well-labelled files). Captions and descriptions.
  • Video segments (may be linked to youtube uploads—on middle school channel). Captions and descriptions.
  • Analysis:
  • Link the results to question to background to growth, development, reproduction, adaptation. Refer to expectation.
  • Conclusion:
  • Short summary of investigation and findings. New questions. Suggestion for new methods / improved methods.
  • Reference list:
  • Full bibliographic citations–including any images for which you have permission

Comment:

  • Reflection posted in DSN with link to report.
  • A substantial reflection of what you noticed through both field studies. Describe your experience of observing nature in the school yard. What thoughts do you have about how nature relates to you and you to nature?

*****

Notice the House sparrow nest currently being built in the active Black kite nest. How might you explain this?

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20 March Science 8 River/watershed simulation–gather data

HAVE A PLAN that each participant in the group knows about. Each member of the group should have a role and responsibilities. Each member of the group should have access to all group data. Each member of the group should be familiar with all aspects of the simulation (everyone should have read the blog an instructions carefully–several times).

  • What observation will you make?
  • How will you observe–describe? count? measure?
  • How will you record your observations?
  • How will you investigate variables? (How will you control for starting conditions? Inclination of table, saturation of material in tray, rate of water flow, etc.)
  • What about things that are dynamic, that change during the simulation(for example, as the level in the water reservoir lowers, the flow out of the siphon lessens)?

See these notes from the initial days of the activity:

  1. Learn how to operate the siphon.
  2. Learn how to make observations:
  • Depth at head, middle, mouth of stream
  • Width at head, middle, mouth of stream
  • Ratio of Depth to Width at head, middle, mouth of stream
  • Velocity (distance/time—small floating object moving with the current)
  • GradientValley side angle—cross section
  • Stream type / Stream age
  • Keep full and complete records/notes/data/reasoning/lists of questions (including images, sketches, and short video clips) on how you set-up and run each trial and what you observe happening in your streams. Your group will make a multimedia presentation on your investigation of streams. (See below)
  • Pay attention to how the water and sand move at both smaller and larger scales.
  • Identify any landforms/riverforms and note what leads to their appearance, modification, and disappearance (alluvial fan, canyon, waterfall, meander, etc.)
  • Link patterns of development as well as particular features you observe in your streams with real streams.

Try to get rich results for Activity 1 and Activity 2. It is not necessary to try Activity 3 unless you have totally exhausted the possibilities for 1 and 2. Activity 3 is listed in a previous blogpost.

Activity 1 – Flat, Inclined Terrain Model

  1. Create a slightly inclined plane.
  2. Predict what will happen when the water is turned on. Turn on the water so that it pours in a steady, moderate stream.
  3. Record observations in 5-minute intervals for about 20 – 30 minutes. Include sketches and photos at each interval. You may try 30-second video segments, too. Try to make a time lapse record.
  4. Turn the water off after 20 – 30 minutes. Discuss the similarities or differences between the two models. What were their observations? Did each model have the same result? How did the landscape influence the course of the river?
  5. Refill the water jug to prepare for the next experiment.

Activity 2 – Hills and Valleys Landscape Model

  1. Remold the sand in the tray to create a surface with several hills and valleys.
  2. Predict what you think will happen in this scenario. Will the same river formation happen? Turn on the water so that it pours in a steady, moderate stream. Table is at same inclination as model 1.
  3. Record observations in 5-minute intervals for about 20 – 30 minutes. Include sketches and photos at each interval. You may try 30-second video segments, too. Try to make a time lapse record.
  4. Turn the water off after 20 – 30 minutes. Discuss the similarities or differences between the two models. Did each model have the same result? How did each landscape influence the course of the river? How were the results different or the same, compared to the flat and inclined model?

What’s Happening?
If you’ve been in mountains and seen a spectacular waterfall, you probably were looking at the beginning of a river. Most rivers begin on top of mountains where water from rain or melting snow collects. Under the influence of gravity, this water flows downhill to form brooks, streams or rivers. As the stream or river flows downhill, it can change the landscape by eroding rocks and depositing sediments.

Some observations that can be made by comparing both models are:

  • The speed of the water flowing downhill will be affected by the degree of incline, and any structures or topographical features in its path.
  • The faster the water flows, the more erosion occurs.
  • Water flowing downhill moves and deposits sand at the bottom of the river. The faster the water flows, the more sand will be deposited at the bottom. A delta at the mouth of a river forms in the same way.

Although the formation of the “rivers” in this activity appeared very quickly, in reality rivers can take millions to billions of years to form a path from land to sea.

More Discussion

  • How would the river formation be affected if the water continued to flow for one hour, two hours or three hours?
  • How would the river formation or pattern be affected if the sand were replaced with soil?
  • How can the stream table be used to simulate a landslide? What variables could be changed to induce a landslide?
  • What are some kinds of man-made structures or human activities that can affect a river system? Name rivers in India and in home countries that are being affected in these ways.
  • Name an important Indian and and important home country river that does not originate in mountains.

On Friday–Prepare for Presentation to take place the week after break.

Presentation:

You and your group will need to decide how to illustrate, describe, and explain your stream simulation investigation in a multimedia presentation. Judicious use of photos, videos, diagrams, graphs, and data are an important part of the presentation. Be sure to attend to the following:

  • Experimental methods
  • Control of variables
  • Repeated trials
  • Observables (descriptive, quantitative—counts and measures)
  • Analysis and Interpretation
  • Explaining the observed simulated river landforms—their origin and development–principles and mechanisms of the effect of flowing water on the landscape and the effect of the landscape on the way water flows)
  • Links to actual river landforms
  • Tests of the explanations (evidence is gathered to support or challenge explanations)
  • Organization and display of data
  • Clarity, completeness, and accuracy of the presentation
  • Big ideas—significance of watershed to the water cycle; importance of people understanding watersheds with regard to human impact on the environment
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19 March Science7 “The Queen of Trees”

Dr. Michael Robinson, who was director of the National Zoo, in Washington, DC, USA believed that stories of the interconnections among species were essential to understanding life on earth. He thought sharing Case Histories of Complexity would help people realize how essential it is to preserve and to enhance biodiversity. I wonder how the “dilemma of detail” will play into our investigation and retelling the various stories of symbiosis. (Symbiosis means “living together.”)

Watch The Queen of Trees (link below). Do this the first time as a class. The video is set in Africa. The main “character” is a large Sycamore Fig tree. There are many other characters, plots and subplots. Though the many stories take place in Africa, we also have figs, figwasps, parasitic wasps, bees, round worms, mantises, katydids, stick insects, cicadas, hornbills, monkeys, and antelope right here in Delhi.

Make (write) a list of the “characters” as you watch. Do not worry if you do not catch the name of an organism. Describe as best you can. You will have a chance to discuss your viewing with classmates. And the link is below so you can review to check your understanding. Outline (write) the various “plots.”

These plots involve:

  1. getting energy to live, to fuel development, and to build various body structures,
  2. producing pollen, ova, sperm, eggs and fertilized seeds and embryos,
  3. dispersing pollen, seeds, eggs,
  4. setting up or finding a place for offspring to develop,
  5. protecting offspring.

In this story, the Queen of Trees captures energy from the sun, carbon dioxide from the air, water from the earth and makes all the energy that drives the various plots.

Remember both of the following ideas we recited with the introduction to Darwin at the beginning of the semester.

  • More offspring are produced than survive.
  • There is always variation in that some offspring survive and some do not.

Where do you see those ideas at work in the video?

”The Queen of Trees https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy86ak2fQJM

This website is useful, be sure to explore it: http://www.figweb.org/Figs_and_fig_wasps/index.htm

Share your list of characters and plots with the class. Discuss. Bring forth any questions that you have. What chance do you think there is for us to observe similar “characters” and “plots” with the trees on our campus?

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14 March Science 8 “Rivers I have known”

For 20 minutes meet with your stream table group. Go over findings from Monday. Use your initial findings to develop a Plan to complete Activity 1 and Activity 2 with detailed observations on 20 March. (Many of Monday’s attempts at Activity 1 seemed premature.)

Plan how you are going to set-up the simulation. What you are going to observe? How you are going to observe (count, measure, etc.)? How you are going to record? How you are going to analyze?

Review the previous blogposts.

For the remainder of the class work on:

“Rivers I have known.”

  1. Find whatever memories and artifacts you have from your experience on the river in WOW 8 this past fall. Notes, pictures, poems, sketches, etc.
  2. Express your experience in some manner–story, poem, drawing, painting–relate the personal to the scientific. (You may need to find out more about the concept of watershed.)
  3. What watershed do you live in now? Find out about the issues of water affecting Delhi. Find an aerial photo (google maps, wikimapia, etc.) that shows AES. Then find the closest point (as the crow flies) to the Yamuna. Where is it? Go upstream from that point until you reach the Wazirabad dam or barrage < http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=28.712646&lon=77.230797&z=14&m=b&search=wazirabad%20bridge > in the northern part of the Delhi region. What do you notice about the water upstream and downstream from the dam? What watercourse do you see entering the Yamuna just below the dam (called barrage in India)? Now go downstream until you reach the Taj Mahal in Agra. Pay attention as you go. What things to you notice? What is the first significant river that joins the Yamuna below Delhi? Where does the Yamuna join the Ganges? What happens to the Ganges as it approaches the Bay of Bengal? Use the mapping program(s) to find out. Can you find the portion of the Ganges you rafted on during WOW 8?
  4.  See this aerial photo. This is the area where Dr. F grew up. His father grew up here, too. Dr. F was born several 100 kilometers upstream from this confluence on a different river. His father born several kilometers downstream on a different river. Where do you think this is? How did you make your determination?

5. In what watershed were you born? In what watershed have you spent most of your growing up? Find aerial photos. What about your parents? What do you notice in examining photos and maps of these watersheds?

6. In your search for rivers on the various applications, what river forms and features did you see that correspond to ones that appeared in your stream table simulation? Note them.

Find 2 songs from different decades that feature a river.Find 2 movies from different decades that feature a river.Find 2 novels from different decades that feature a river.Find 2 poems from different decades that feature a river.Write your own creative response (essay, story, poem) to your own experience and ideas about rivers. (All pieces must show signs of serious thought / drafts / editing.)

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13 March Focused Field Study

Continue gathering data on your focused field study. See previous blogpost. Read carefully. The report (see previous blogpost) on your Focused Field Study will be due 3 April.

Dates: 21 March–Work on Report; Gather additional data, if needed, 1 April Work on Report, 3 April Report due.

http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2018/03/09/9-march-science-7-begin-focused-field-study/

Topics and students:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Tz_X7EhPgGZR6PnjO2IV3OBDFWd-iKTav4z4QFZ_sWo/edit?usp=sharing

Pictures from field study (let me know if you have some to upload and I will give you editing privileges):

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1dvSvPTkxd2LghaNyMriyNa-iyRg1Mvbz?usp=sharing

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12 March Science 8 Watersheds and Simulated rivers

Have you done this: Make a cartoon: Where does the water you use come from? Where does it go? What happens along the way?

What is your response to these “competing” claims?

“The water coming out of your kitchen tap is four billion years old and might well have been sipped by a Tyrannosaurus rex.” <http://www.thebigthirst.com/the-book/>

“The earth’s oceans, ice caps, glaciers, lakes, rivers, soils and atmosphere contains about 1.5 billion cubic kilometers of H2O. It has been estimated that all the earth’s water is split by plant cells and reconstituted by the biota about every 2,000,000 years.” (The Oxygen Cycle by Preston Cloud and Aharon Gibor in theU special issue on The Biosphere September, 1970.)

Be sure you have the previous blogpost marked. And be sure you have examined the many links. http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2018/03/07/8-march-science-8/

Today–work in assigned groups, if you were not here during the last class you will be assigned.

Learn how to set up the stream table. Begin the 3 activities below. (Hint: Make a reference grid for your stream table so that you can mark the changes in time and space. Use photographs made at regular intervals. Video can be useful but requires time to watch. You might try time-lapse.)

  1. Learn how to operate the siphon.
  2. Learn how to make observations:
  • Depth at head, middle, mouth of stream
  • Width at head, middle, mouth of stream
  • Ratio of Depth to Width at head, middle, mouth of stream
  • Velocity (distance/time—small floating object moving with the current)
  • GradientValley side angle—cross section
  • Stream type / Stream age
  • Keep full and complete records/notes/data/reasoning/lists of questions (including images, sketches, and short video clips) on how you set-up and run each trial and what you observe happening in your streams. Your group will make a multimedia presentation on your investigation of streams. (See below)
  • Pay attention to how the water and sand move at both smaller and larger scales.
  • Identify any landforms/riverforms and note what leads to their appearance, modification, and disappearance (alluvial fan, canyon, waterfall, meander, etc.)
  • Link patterns of development as well as particular features you observe in your streams with real streams.

Activity 1 – Flat, Inclined Terrain Model

  1. Create a slightly inclined plane.
  2. Predict what will happen when the water is turned on. Turn on the water so that it pours in a steady, moderate stream.
  3. Record observations in 5-minute intervals for about 20 – 30 minutes. Include sketches and photos at each interval. You may try 30-second video segments, too. Try to make a time lapse record.
  4. Turn the water off after 20 – 30 minutes. Discuss the similarities or differences between the two models. What were their observations? Did each model have the same result? How did the landscape influence the course of the river?
  5. Refill the water jug to prepare for the next experiment.

Activity 2 – Hills and Valleys Landscape Model

  1. Remold the sand in the tray to create a surface with several hills and valleys.
  2. Predict what you think will happen in this scenario. Will the same river formation happen? Turn on the water so that it pours in a steady, moderate stream. Table is at same inclination as model 1.
  3. Record observations in 5-minute intervals for about 20 – 30 minutes. Include sketches and photos at each interval. You may try 30-second video segments, too. Try to make a time lapse record.
  4. Turn the water off after 20 – 30 minutes. Discuss the similarities or differences between the two models. Did each model have the same result? How did each landscape influence the course of the river? How were the results different or the same, compared to the flat and inclined model?

What’s Happening?
If you’ve been in mountains and seen a spectacular waterfall, you probably were looking at the beginning of a river. Most rivers begin on top of mountains where water from rain or melting snow collects. Under the influence of gravity, this water flows downhill to form brooks, streams or rivers. As the stream or river flows downhill, it can change the landscape by eroding rocks and depositing sediments.

Some observations that can be made by comparing both models are:

  • The speed of the water flowing downhill will be affected by the degree of incline, and any structures or topographical features in its path.
  • The faster the water flows, the more erosion occurs.
  • Water flowing downhill moves and deposits sand at the bottom of the river. The faster the water flows, the more sand will be deposited at the bottom. A delta at the mouth of a river forms in the same way.

Although the formation of the “rivers” in this activity appeared very quickly, in reality rivers can take millions to billions of years to form a path from land to sea.

More Discussion

  • How would the river formation be affected if the water continued to flow for one hour, two hours or three hours?
  • How would the river formation or pattern be affected if the sand were replaced with soil?
  • How can the stream table be used to simulate a landslide? What variables could be changed to induce a landslide?
  • What are some kinds of man-made structures or human activities that can affect a river system? Name rivers in India and in home countries that are being affected in these ways.
  • Name an important Indian and and important home country river that does not originate in mountains.

Extended Activity 3
Extend the activity by changing some of the variables to observe how it affects the river’s path and speed, or the erosion and deposition of sand. Students can create their own variables to test or try one of the following:

  • Place other objects in the sand, such as small pebbles, stones or small plastic houses or trees.
  • Build a dam in the middle the river.
  • Place two or three water jugs next to each other and turn all spigots on at the same time.
  • Mold the sand into a valley. Compare the differences when the water flows directly down the middle, to what happens when the water flows from the inclined section of the valley (the long side of the tray).

Presentation:

You and your group will need to decide how to illustrate, describe, and explain your stream simulation investigation in a multimedia presentation. Judicious use of photos, videos, diagrams, graphs, and data are an important part of the presentation. Be sure to attend to the following:

  • Experimental methods
  • Control of variables
  • Repeated trials
  • Observables (descriptive, quantitative—counts and measures)
  • Analysis and Interpretation
  • Explaining the observed simulated river landforms—their origin and development–principles and mechanisms of the effect of flowing water on the landscape and the effect of the landscape on the way water flows)
  • Links to actual river landforms
  • Tests of the explanations (evidence is gathered to support or challenge explanations)
  • Organization and display of data
  • Clarity, completeness, and accuracy of the presentation
  • Big ideas—significance of watershed to the water cycle; importance of people understanding watersheds with regard to human impact on the environment
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