Case Study 3

Group 4 project 2011

We haven't had the project this year yet but I thought it might be interesting to write down what happens as it happens rather than from memory when I get round to it.

The project is going to happen in about 3 weeks (exactly 3 weeks) so the Gp4 teachers have begun to plan what we are going to do. So far this has involved an email from the Diploma coordinator (who is also a science teacher) asking for ideas. I have put forward the following proposal.

We take snow as our theme with the hope that there will still be some in 3 weeks (why am hoping this?). If there isn't any we can easily transport the students to a place where there will be some. The idea is simple; students look at the properties (unspecified) of snow in different locations. We did something like this before but it was a bit of a nightmare with all the apparatus we had to carry around so I have an idea that will both solve the equipment problem and focus the research a bit, we give each group a kit containing simple apparatus. e.g.

Magnifying glass
Tape measure

All of this can be purchased from Ebay for about £5 a set. Providing them with this equipment will limit what they do but I think there is still plenty of variety. One of the problems we have found with the Gp4 project is that different groups (or even students in the same group) do totally unrelated bits of research, hopefully by narrowing it down a bit we can get some data that can be prepared (well maybe). I imagine that students will select some different places on the map then visit the places and measure things like (they won't be told any of this of course)

The temperature
Inclination of slope
Nature of particles
Presence of stuff that's not snow
Life forms
Mechanical properties (simple friction experiment)
And I almost forgot PH

They might also take samples to bring back to the lab.

When they get back they will try to make some conclusions based on their findings and make a presentation to about 20 students. I think it would be nice to start off the project by having a lecture by someone who knows a lot about snow. The project is the week after all the first years go on a week long ski trip so it's all very topical.

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