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"Scientific Method Multimedia Project"

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Keywords: Movie Making, Science, Technology, Scientific Method, Multimedia
Subject(s): Physics, Chemistry, Science, Biology, Earth Science, Life Science, Technology, Video
Grades 6 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Charlotte Wood Middle School, Danville, CA
Planned By: Annie Vargas
Original Author: Annie Vargas, Danville
Over the course of 3-4 weeks, lab teams of 3 students will design a science experiment based on a “mystery” item that each group will select in class. Lab groups will be responsible for the following:

• coming up with a scientific question related to their item;
• doing background research on their topic;
• proposing a feasible, step-by-step experimental design;
• developing one or more correctly phrased (“If…then…”) hypothes(e)s;
• designing one or more data tables;
• gathering all necessary materials;
• carrying out multiple “practice runs” of their experiment;
• carrying out multiple experimental trials (including data collection)
• averaging experimental results and graphing their data;
• stating observations and inferences/conclusions based on their graphs;
• discussing sources of error/changes they would make for future experiments;
• tracing their actual (vs. "expected") steps through the scientific method

Early parts of the project (scientific question, experimental design, hypotheses, data tables) will require both individual and lab group written work that will be turned in for credit. The final graded product, however, will be an i-Movie made from FLIP VIDEO taken by each group throughout the various stages of their experiment that will clearly show the steps of the scientific method. Students also will evaluate one another’s work within their lab group on a weekly basis.

Students will be trained in the correct use of the Flip camcorder, as well as techniques for uploading multiple video segments to i-Movie on portable laptops, editing within i-Movie, saving work, and exporting the finished movie. Students will be expected to perform each of many different roles throughout the project: filming, presenting information, carrying out the experiment, and editing the movie on the mobile laptops.
A 7th grade teaching colleague and I actually designed and carried out this project in January 2011. We began in September by fundraising on Digital Wish for a class set of Flip Video camcorders through the "2 for 1" offer. We obtained enough camcorders for lab teams to work in groups of 3-4; we hope to acquire more Flip camcorders in order to carry out future projects with teams of 2.

It was an amazing experience watching the students document their own scientific process; their excitement and level of engagement as they worked with the Flip Video cameras was awe-inspiring! As the students designed, carried out and analyzed their experiments, the other teacher and I documented this process using the Flip Video cameras. At the end of the project as student teams edited their i-Movies on mobile laptops, the other teacher and I made our own i-Movie from the Flip video footage taken of our students.

I have provided a YouTube link below to our movie that documents the project! I also have samples of finished student movie projects, written project guidelines, and worksheets that I would be happy to provide to Digital Wish.

Cross-Curriculum Ideas
The use of Flip Video in conjunction with i-Movie for multimedia projects is applicable to virtually any academic subject area.
Student teams can view other groups' videos and critically analyze both the experimental steps shown, as well as the filming and editing techniques used to document the process.
Links: Link to YouTube Video of Project
Materials: Flash/USB Drives, Flip Video