The Almost Daily, Once In A While Report From The Sage Mallards

August 9, 2016 • by Summer Program's team

Today as grad students, we wanted to review science literacy by talking about choosing good scientific questions and what goes into that process. We explored three different ecosystems to develop our sense of place on the Ponderosa State Park Peninsula. The three ecosystems were a sagebrush meadow, an aspen grove, and coniferous forest affected by human interaction. We explored the effects of human impacts such as thinning, and fire suppression. We created our question by working together using effective community practices. We wanted to know why there was so much diversity in the understory between the treated and untreated areas. The tools we used were temperature and soil moisture probes, pH strips, a densiometer, and a light meter. 

As educators of students that will be coming to campus throughout the year, we practiced how to craft good scientific questions. We reflected on questions that would be age appropriate and guide them through the systematic process of understanding their surroundings. Making good questions includes age appropriate methods, and the tools we have to answer a specific question. As a result, students will be able to realize that ecosystems are dynamic, and that we all have roles and responsibilities within our communities. 

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