Ecosystem health

Findings from the Field: Abbreviated Article Format

Many classrooms across the state of Maine are investigating interesting questions, collecting data, and drawing conclusions that ought to be shared with the science community but just do not have time to produce a full research article. For that reason, Findings from the Field is now accepting abbreviated submissions.

Submissions following the abbreviated format must include:

    A graph, table, chart, or figure showing data that was collected
    A short description of the data (2 to 3 sentences)
    A scientific argument, including:
Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Fieldwork Management Strategies: Supporting Documents

Use these documents, developed by Vital Signs teacher Kellie Ouellette, to manage student teams and support students in monitoring their own growth and learning in their Vital Signs investigations.

Kellie's explanation of how she uses the resources:

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
These resources were created by Vital Signs teacher, Kellie Ouellette
Documents

Oh Deer! Invasive Species and Ecosystem Modeling Game--with Data Analysis!

This lesson expands on the old favorite modeling game, Oh Deer!: Invasive Species Style by adding a data analysis component. Dig deeper by tracking changes in abundance of habitat resources, native, and invasive species over time.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Simplified Species Survey Data Sheet for Freshwater Investigations

This data sheet, tested and adapted by fifth grade students in the field, is great to use for macroinvertebrate investigations. It is similar to the Freshwater Species Survey but simplified and with clearer instructions.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
How should others reference your work?: 
This resources was developed by Alanna Doughty from the Lakes Environmental Association.
Documents
Documents: 

Findings From the Field Volume 0: Spring 2017

The pilot issue of Findings From the Field. Articles cover beach profiling in Old Orchard Beach, investigations of chestnut blight, and explorations of the factors that impact maple syrup production.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Findings from the Field: A Middle School Journal of Science Research

Now Accepting Submissions for Volume 1!

Findings from the Field is a journal of scientific research produced exclusively by Middle School students. Help us to get this journal off the ground by submitting to the first issue! Participation will elevate student learning through writing about investigations, engage students in a community of student scientists through peer review, and provide an authentic audience for students’ work.

Timeline for Volume 1:
Submit articles for peer review: September 2017 through March 2018

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Formal Science Writing Tools: Science Article Overview and Checklist

Use this checklist as a quick reference for the components of a science article. For more complete descriptions and resources see other Formal Science Writing lesson plans and handouts in the Vital Signs curriculum bank.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Independent Ecology Investigation

This full unit of study structures a student-driven learning experience that has students defining a research question, planning a Vital Signs data investigation, analyzing and interpreting their data, and communicating their findings. Students are guided through group activities designed to develop background knowledge in relationships in ecosystems and skills around data collection and analysis. Students extend this work by applying the newly developed skills and concepts to a student-driven investigation which culminates in creating a product to share their results.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Formal Science Writing and Revision Tools: Results

Representing and describing data are challenging tasks. The tools included here support students in pulling together their results section, including choosing a graph and writing a results narrative. Resources include organizers, handouts to prompt student writing, and peer review forms for a results section of a science article.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
These resources were pulled together by teachers participating in the Vital Signs Next Steps Institute: Launching Maine's First Middle School Journal of Scientific Research.
Documents

Formal Science Writing and Revision Tools: Student and Teacher Rubrics

Here are rubrics in both student and teacher-friendly formats that can be used to monitor progress towards and final assessment of science articles.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
Rubrics were developed in collaboration with teachers participating in the Vital Signs Next Steps Institute: Launching Maine's First Middle School Journal of Scientific Research.
Documents
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