Once field testing was complete, students analyzed data and presented their findings to an audience of scientists, community members and area secondary students during the annual SWW Summit at the University of Toledo Scott Park Campus in late November.
Instead of doing the usual slide presentation to share their data, students from Mrs. Swartz's 5th period Advanced Science class stepped it up a notch and produced a presentation using GoAnimate; a free online animated video creator. The video won the "Most Creative Presentation" award at the Summit! Students cleverly drafted a story narrative, selected characters and settings, added props and media, adjusted camera angles and wrote a script that narrates an overview of the various factors that impact the health of a body of water (oxygen level, nitrates, total solids, etc.). Students incorporated their data and results within a storyline about a patient, Mr. River Portage, who contracted "H2O-sis". The story outlines "symptoms" (i.e. macroinvertebrates, water clarity, etc.) that may lead to poor river health and includes the patient's nurse and doctor describing the impacts of the symptoms. Click here to view the video.
The video could gain national attention too! Katie Rousseau, one of the judges for the SWW Summit presentations, is the Associate Director of Clean Water Program Conservation for American Rivers; a nonprofit organization that leads efforts to improve the health of rivers and communities nationwide. Ms. Rousseau was so impressed with the creativity of the Eastwood students that she will be uploading the video to the American Rivers blog on the national website in the coming week.
Mrs. Swartz's 4th period Advanced Science class was awarded the "Best Overall Display" at the SWW Summit for their creation of the project's display poster. Students presented their data, observations and results using MakeSigns.com, a graphic design website. They combined charts, pictures, colors and text to create a wonderful display of their findings. Such a savvy way to demonstrate science knowledge! (Click on the poster image to view larger image).
When students were asked to reflect on this practical, real life science experience, their responses demonstrate that learning opportunities like this offer more than facts and figures found in a textbook.
What did you learn at the Summit?
"I learned about different careers that I could possibly want to explore." - Jonna N.
"Ohio has a very diverse fish population of over 170 species." - Jessica S.
"Ohio has a large diversity of species that many places in the world do not." - Chloe K.
Why was the Summit a good experience?
"I got to see a diversity of people and ideas." - Alaysa F.
"We got to see how hard work pays off. " - Alyssa H.
"It showed me how much we needed to protect our freshwater." - Morgan L.
"I learned the importance of protecting the environment." - Keith R.
What would you like to share about participating in the Student Watershed Watch program?
"We were able to actually compare our Q-values and information with other schools across NW Ohio." - Noah H.
"I think the Watershed program is very informative. It made me realize that science is more just a class and that we can make a difference." - Eric F.
"The program was not only educational, but really fun!" - Bailey P.
GoAnimate and websites like MakeSigns are affording students new, 21st century ways to apply knowledge, collaborate and communicate what they learn. Technology, when combined with great teaching, hands-on and minds-on activities, can engage students in meaningful learning experiences that last a lifetime. Our 7th graders have shown that the possibilities are truly endless and they deserve applause for their efforts. Congratulations!
Thank you to TMACOG and the Student Watershed Watch sponsors for this wondeful opportunity to explore science and discover the importance of protecting our region's fresh water resources!