Categories: Culturally Situated Community Sensing, Michael O’Keefe
During the spring semester, I have been working in Doyle Middle School with Mr. Dunleavy’s 7th grade science class; a different teacher and class than I worked with during the fall semester. My goal for this semester is to give the students an introduction to climate science, which I can use to introduce the Culturally Situated Sensing project with the Sensorcache.
First, we talked about the difference between weather and climate. I used a worksheet from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ocean Service Education group to demonstrate different climates, then had the students find examples of different climate zones in the United States.
The next activity correlated this knowledge of climate zones with the temperature and precipitation levels for various states, and had the students think about their ideal climate. They then graphed the climate data they recorded using a bar graph. Students seemed to respond well to this activity.
Both of these activities were conducted on days during which mandatory English Language Arts testing was being conducted by the school, shortening some class periods by 15-20 minutes and completely cutting out others. Delay has been a theme so far in my classroom experience, as it took me almost a month to get into the classroom during the second semester, due to delays at the school district level.
My next goal for the classroom is to begin introducing the topic of climate change, and discussing human impacts on climate. I hope to have the students complete an assessment of the climate impact each individual has, showing them what everyday activities produce in greenhouse gas emissions/waste products, and what they take in land area to generate. Making the students more aware of the ecological cost of their actions will demonstrate the difference each person can make, and be a good lead in for discussing the role sensing has in understanding and fighting climate change.