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I am a Research Scientist!


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Keywords: cartography, oceanography, stream ecology, botany, biology,
Subject(s): Life Science, Earth Science, Biology, Science, Chemistry
Grades 6 through 8
School: North Sevier Middle School, Salina, UT
Planned By: Debbie Morgan
Original Author: Debbie Morgan, Salina
This is actually a group of lesson plans formed around a central them. Each unit includes a vocabulary list, vocabulary game, and specific activities that emulate the work of that particular research scientist. The main objectives of these units are to reinforce the scientific method. This includes the use of scientific and technological tools to make hypotheses, gather data, make observations and predictions, and analyze the data.

Unit I: Research Scientist
Objectives: 1. Students will be exposed to many different fields of research science. 2. Students will research detailed information about one specific research science field using the internet. 3. Students will use a Powerpoint program and computer to develop and present a brief presentation about the research science they investigated.


Unit II: Cartographer
Objectives: 1. Students will investigate and practice using the tools and performing the job duties of a cartographer. 2. Students will use computers and Google Earth to orientate themselves with the location of their school grounds and map scales. 3. Students will create a neighborhood map of their school with correct map scale that will be used in later units.

Unit III: Botanist
Objectives: 1. Students will investigate and practice using the tools and performing the job duties of a botanist. 2. Students will use cameras, computers, and various collection tools to study, identify, and map the location of trees in the school neighborhood. 3. Students will create data sheets using a Powerpoint program with pictures of trees and their identifications. 4. Students will create a poster with tree leaf and seed samples as well as the printed data sheets to present to the class.

Unit IV: Entomologist
Objectives: 1. Students will investigate and practice using the tools and performing the job duties of an entomologist. 2. Students will make and record observations, including photographs, about the life cycle of the Painted Lady butterfly. 3. Students will diagram and label the life cycle. Students will research and discuss how butterfly life cycles can be influenced by other environmental factors.

Unit VIII: Biologist
Objectives: 1. Students will investigate and practice using the tools and performing the job duties of a biologist. 2. Students will make and record observations, including photographs, about the life cycle of a chicken. 3. Students will practice measuring skills and making predictions by measuring the mass of eggs at the beginning of the cycle and the mass of the eggs just before hatching.

Unit V: Stream Ecologist
Objectives: Students will investigate and practice using the tools and performing the job duties of a stream ecologist. 2. Students will practice the tests stream ecologists use to collect stream data. 3. Students will analyze data and determine the "health" of nearby stream. 4. Students will practice environmental stewardship by cleaning up the local stream and coming up with ideas on how to protect the stream in the future.

Unit VI: Meteorologist
Objectives: 1. Students will investigate and practice using the tools and performing the job duties of a meteorologist. 2. Students will collect daily weather observations and create station models. 3. Students will observe changes in station models and weather maps to forecast weather. 4. Students will draw a station model and write a weather report. 5. Students will use the computer, Powerpoint, and PhotoBooth to record their weather report and share it with the class.

Unit VII: Oceanographer
Objectives: 1. Students will investigate and practice using the tools and performing the job duties of an oceanographer. 2. Students will continue to collect daily weather observations. 3. Students will observe sea life by watching ocean videos. 4. Students will investigate bottom sampling to determine safe areas for anchorage. 3. Students will collect bottom samples from "ocean tank", take pictures, and record data.

Materials: Whiteboards, Mobile Labs, Point and Shoot, Middle School, Camera Bags, Batteries, Memory Cards, Flash/USB Drives
Other Items: 2 stream ecology test kit, $76.49 each, total of $152.98