Georgia-Pacific Supports STEM

By CJ Drake, Georgia-Pacific

Georgia-Pacific is making a significant effort this year to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning on the Oregon Coast, especially in Lincoln County.

Representatives from the GP containerboard mill in Toledo recently presented the Oregon Coast STEM Hub (OCSH) with a $25,000 donation.

Loria Holden from Georgia-Pacific in Toledo presents a donation to Oregon Coast STEM Hub Director Lisa Blank.

“We support STEM because it encourages students to think critically, increases science literacy, and empowers the next generation of innovators,” said Loria Holden, health and safety leader at the GP containerboard mill in Toledo. “STEM also encourages students to pursue studies that may eventually lead to a career in the wood products and paper industry, of which GP is a global leader.” Holden serves as a STEM mentor in Lincoln County public schools and received her undergraduate degree in environmental engineering.

“We support STEM because it encourages students to think critically, increases science literacy, and empowers the next generation of innovators.”

OCSH is part of a statewide network of such organizations established to promote STEM and Career and Technical Education (CTE). Since its inception in 2014, OCSH has provided more than 22,000 hours of student STEM and CTE experiences, 9,020 direct hours of educator STEM professional development, and nurtured partnerships with 64 separate entities located up and down the Oregon Coast, from Brookings to Astoria.

“We’re delighted to have Georgia-Pacific as one of our business partners to help grow STEM and CTE skills among students and those aspiring to join the workforce,” said Dr. Lisa Blank, OCSH executive director. “Most careers and real-world challenges are multi-disciplinary. STEM and CTE introduce students to career pathways and provide core academic, employability and technical skills. GP’s support offers us additional opportunities to expand our reach.”


As an institutional partner of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, Georgia-Pacific joins more than 60 other businesses, school districts, non-profit organizations, and government agencies partners, all of which are committed to fostering STEM futures on the Oregon coast. A representative from GP has held a seat on the OCSH Leadership Council since 2016, and four GP employees are currently serving as “Science Mentors” in Newport elementary school classrooms.

Apprentice Program Engages HS Grads

“Our apprenticeships lead to lifelong opportunities for candidates who want highly technical and challenging careers.”

Coastlines, Jan 2020

Public electric utility Central Lincoln has apprentice programs that train qualified replacements for the line workers, wiremen, tree trimmers, and meter shop technicians who are nearing retirement. Their January 2020 newsletter Coastline article “Careers Without College” features four graduates from Oregon coast high schools who are preparing for electric utility trade careers:

  • Lineman Apprentice Guy from Taft High in Lincoln City
  • Lineman Apprentice Cody from Newport High School
  • Tree Trimmer Trainee Talon from North Bend High School
  • Lineman Apprentice Michael from Marshfield High School in Coos Bay
“At the recent International Lineman Rodeo, Lineman Apprentice Guy won second place among apprentices from rural electric utilities, and placed 20th in Best of the Best Apprentices out of 321 competitors.”
(https://clpud.org/wp-content/uploads/Jan-2020-Coastlines.pdf)

Read the whole article to find out more about the steps coastal graduates are taking to pursue careers in electric utility STEM trades: https://clpud.org/wp-content/uploads/Jan-2020-Coastlines.pdf


Central Lincoln PUD is one of more than 60 partnering organizations in the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, and its members serve on the OCSH Leadership Council, coordinate regional Mathcounts competitions, and volunteer as Science Mentors and STEM Judges. https://clpud.org/

A Teacher’s Perspective

This post is part of a series chronicling the September 12-15, 2019 research cruise on board the R/V Oceanus, Oregon State University’s largest research vessel. This cruise was funded by Oregon Legislative funds through the Oceangoing Research Vessel Program. Coordination and additional support was provided by Oregon Sea Grant, the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, and OSU’s Regional Class Research Vessel program.

Follow the adventures of the students, educators, and researchers who are on board engaging in #STEMatSea.

By Carisa Ketchen

I consider myself to be a reflective teacher and as we head back to Newport to end our four day adventure at sea, it’s the perfect time to do so. Throughout the last few days aboard the research vessel Oceanus, our team of researchers and students have been working with a variety of technology and cutting edge scientific tools. The crew worked together diligently to perform tasks that required a strict mindfulness of safety and we had to be quick on our feet to deploy and retrieve equipment safely out of the water.

The students and I took part in a variety of research objectives. There are multiple research components being conducted throughout the day and into the late evening hours. We typically started the day with a rotating whale watching schedule, looking for spouts and other activity such as breaching. When we encountered enough activity in one region, five of the science party would load into the Red Rocket (RHIB) to get a closer look with the goal of identifying specific whales, counting, and tracking their movements.

Most mornings began bright and early with the deploying and retrieval of the CTD device. With this tool we gathered data regarding temperature, conductivity, density, and fluorescence which is helpful in determining where we may see whales and provides clues that indicate the upwelling nutrients.

CTD deployment
Early morning deployment and retrieval of the CTD.

Plankton tows also took place in the early morning and evenings. Students attached the cod ends to the nets and then launched the dual plankton nets to be towed at a specific depth for several minutes. The depth and angles for the nets was determined by the information received from the CTD. After obtaining the plankton from the nets, we identified the organisms via microscope.

People empty the cod end of the black plankton net on the ship deck
After the plankton net has been towed through the water, the net is brought back on the deck and the contents of the “cod end” are collected in a bucket for examination.

Taking box cores happened throughout the day and into the late evening to scoop up sediment and organisms from the ocean floor. This included learning to operate the hydraulic A frame and hooking the box for safe retrieval. After a core sample was taken, it was time to start sifting for marine organisms. We found several brittle sea stars, various worms, hydras, clams, and a plethora of other micro marine organisms.

As a local high school science teacher at Toledo Jr. Sr. High School, this has been a phenomenal experience. I’m currently writing a variety of lesson plans that I can incorporate into my classroom this semester and for years to come. Some of these include construction of research vessels, living at sea, working with a crew, ocean topography, different whale species and their migration patterns, plankton, soil sampling, and specific lessons about the technology and equipment used on board. I’m excited to share my experiences with my students and to continue developing marine science curriculum in order to increase ocean literacy. Having participated in many other professional development opportunities with OSU, I had some background knowledge about the Oceanus vessel and its objectives for research. However, being able to actively participate on board and work directly with the lead researchers and students has provided the most important educational opportunity that I could ever have imagined possible. I am inspired by this research and feel a renewed sense of passion and energy that I can’t wait to share with my students.

“I am inspired by this research and feel a renewed sense of passion and energy that I can’t wait to share with my students.”

I have always been intrigued by the ocean and marine biology. I can recall as a young kindergartner daydreaming about the ocean and drawing whales in my scrapbook. It was my goal to move to the Oregon coast since I first visited in 2008, so when the opportunity came up to “Teach at the Beach” with Lincoln County School District, I applied immediately and was fortunate to be hired. This will be my third year living on the coast and I’m looking forward to many more.


Carisa Ketchen is a Science Teacher at Toledo Jr Sr High School in Toledo Oregon. She obtained a B.S. in Natural Sciences with a minor in Geology at Lewis-Clark State College, and a Master’s degree in Science Education from Montana State University. Since coming to the Oregon coast, Carisa has participated in a variety of Oregon Sea Grant funded professional development opportunities focused on coastal and marine science, including MBARI Earth, MWEEs by the Sea, and the Oregon Marine Scientist and Educator Alliance.

Big Questions

Hello everyone, my name is Andy Bedingfield, and the following is a journal style blog of my science adventures at sea on the Research Vessel Atlantis. My goal is to capture what it is like to live and work onboard a scientific research vessel. In My blog posts, I will talk about the science mission we are on as well as what it is like to live, eat and sleep on a moving hunk of steel in the middle of ocean with 50 of your new best friends. 


Andy Bedingfield
Andy Bedingfield

SETTING THE STAGE, July 13, 2019
By Andy Bedingfield

I am a high school science teacher, and I was lucky to receive a research experience for teachers (RET) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to have an at-sea experience on the R/V Atlantis. My goal for this trip is to learn as much as I can about the science and lifestyle that goes on in an NSF funded oceanographic research cruise. When I get back to land I will turn everything I know into a learning experience for middle and high school students.

planktonic baby fish

We are going to sea for two weeks to study plankton and neuston. Anything that is alive and drifts through the ocean is considered plankton. This word comes from the Greek word for wanderer. Plankton can range from single cell viruses and bacteria, to tiny plants, to tiny complex animals like baby fish. If it is in the ocean, is alive, and can’t swim against the ocean’s current, it is plankton. Neuston (one of the new words I learned on this cruise), have pretty much the same definition, but with the caveat that they only live on the surface of the water right were the ocean meets the air. The word neuston comes from the Greek word for swimmer.

At its heart, science is about answering questions by collecting data (information) and then using that data to figure out how something works. The big question that we are trying answer on this cruise is:

How are the plankton and neuston populations faring as humans have a larger and larger impact on the environment?

To accomplish this, we need fully understand their lifecycles and look for long term changes over the years.

We are collecting data in two locations: off Newport, Oregon, and off Trinidad Head in Northern California. In both of these locations, we sail east and west along a line known as a transect. Scientific studies have been done on these same transects for years. This is a good example of scientists controlling variables. If we just wondered around the ocean collecting samples in different places, it would be really hard to see if there was an increase or a decrease in plankton populations over time.

Screen shot of Ship Tracker showing how the R/V Atlantis moves along a transect line
Visit Ship Tracker to see how the R/V Atlantis is moving along a transect line.

There are five ways we will be collecting data on this research cruise:

  • MOCNESS (multiple opening and closing net and environmental sampling system): a multiple opening net system that allows us to catch our study subjects and bring them on board. With this system there are two sets of nets with different mesh sizes, MOC 1 is 333 microns, MOC 4 is 1000 microns. In addition to the nets this system collects data about the water such as temperature, salinity, and depth. This device is lowered to 100 meters while the ship is moving very slowly, about 2 miles an hour. When we send it over the side, the first net, called net zero is open. Once the net gets to 100 meters, we close net zero and open net one, and then bring it up to 75 meters. At 75 meters we close net one and open net two, and then bring it up to 50 meters, and so on until we reach the surface. Once we get the net system back on board, which in itself is a complex and dangerous operation, we take the all of the samples on board sort them into jars and preserve them in ethanol for later analysis.
  • ISIIS (in situ ichthyoplankton imaging system): an underwater high definition camera system that we tow through the water. In plain language this is an underwater camera system (imaging system) designed to take pictures of baby fish (ichthyoplankton) where they live (in situ).
  • A neuston net system: a single opening net system that sits right on the surface to collect neuston as we tow it through the water. Neuston are what the we call any plants or animals the inhabit the surface of the water. We tow this through the water at a slow speed. I sits right on top as it is towed and looks like a manta ray.
  • CTD (conductivity, temperature, and depth) device: this gets dropped straight over the side while we are stationary. This system is measuring these parameters in real time, and it also has 24 bottles that can be open and closed automatically. This way scientists can collect water samples at different depths and bring them back to the lab for analysis.
  • A vertical net: this also looks like a wind sock. This net is dropped down to 100 meters and pulled back up to the surface while the ship is stationary.

The data collected by these instruments will help answer big Science Questions posed by researchers. One question is:


What is the interaction between the different types of plankton and their food (which is also mostly other plankton)?

The specialized MOCNESS has multiple nets that can be opened and closed, enabling the crew to take samples at different depths. This issue with this method, though, is that if you drag the net for a 1000 meters, you smash everything in that stretch together. The baby fish can’t really swim against ocean currents and neither can their food. They are both at the mercy of the current. This fact determines if we consider them plankton or not. When you pull up your net, you may see food and baby fish, but you don’t really know if the food was close enough to the baby fish for them to eat it.

ISIIS

That’s where the ISIIS system comes into play. This is basically a high definition camera system we tow behind the boat which takes photo images of plankton in the water column. In the old days, graduate students used to look at thousands of images and count critters by hand, but now this is done automatically using a very smart computer system. With this system, researchers know not only how many baby fish are in the water and how much food, but where they are located in relation to each other.

My job on board will be two help the science crew (a mix of college professors, post docs, graduate students and one undergraduate student) work on the deck collecting the samples and running the equipment outlined above. 

_____________________
Andy Bedingfield teaches Science at Taft 7-12 High School in Lincoln City and is part of the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program on the R/V Atlantis cruise taking place July 13-27, 2019.

Student Perspective: ‘Taking Root’

Nathan Malamud is a senior at Pacific High School in the small coastal community of Port Orford, Oregon. Last Fall, he created this 3 minute video to share what local communities can do to slow and reverse the effects of climate change. Are you looking for community and student stewardship ideas? Here’s a suggestion that Nathan hopes will be “Taking Root”:

 

Nathan’s video was shared with teachers attending the Climate Change “MWEEs by the Sea” workshop last month at OSU’s Port Orford Field Station. What a great inspiration for the teachers and their students!


h/t to OSU’s Port Orford Field Station

 

 

Girls Explore STEM at GEMS Camp

By Tracy Crews

Girls show their engineering designThanks to a grant from Oregon State University’s Women’s Giving Circle and additional funding from the Oregon Coast STEM Hub,7th and 8th grade girls from coastal communities were able to attend Girls in Engineering and Marine Science (GEMS) at Hatfield Marine Science Center on March 10-11, 2017.  This unique Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) camp is led by Oregon Sea Grant in partnership with the Oregon Coast Aquarium and is designed to bring together middle school girls from high poverty areas with female engineers and marine scientists who share their experiences and passion for STEM.

Activities for this two-day camp were led by female undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty from Oregon State University (OSU), as well as female marine scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Students developed teamwork, communication, and leadership skills throughout the program through collaborative, hands-on activities, and learned about what it is like to pursue a degree and career in engineering and marine related fields from mentors. In addition, participants got behind-the-scenes tours of the Hatfield Marine Science Center, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and the NOAA research vessel Rainier.

Participants for this GEMS program included middle school girls from Astoria, Warrenton, Tillamook, Newport, Toledo, Waldport, and Coos Bay.  Participants had the opportunity to engineer underwater robots and robotic arms, build light traps for sampling larval crabs and fish, and create prototypes of devices which could be used for disaster response. They also worked with NOAA biologists to collect biological samples and data from juvenile salmon, conducted bird surveys in the Yaquina Bay Estuary with an OSU seabird researcher, and identified larval organisms caught in their light traps with the help of an OSU zooplankton biologist. Additionally, GEMS participants spent the night in the shark tunnel at the Oregon Coast Aquarium with female husbandry and education staff where they learned about additional career options.

According to GEMS participants, they really enjoyed the “cool” hands-on activities and the interaction with OSU students and researchers. These students also reported that the program strengthened their interest in STEM and that they gained confidence and additional knowledge by participating in this program.


Tracy Crews works for Oregon Sea Grant as the Marine Education Manager, and she coordinates STEM Experiences for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

Help recover the SS Dolphin!

The yellow line shows the path of the SS Dolphin in November and December

The yellow line shows the path of the SS Dolphin in November and December

The GPS-equipped unmanned sailboat SS Dolphin prepared by Coos Bay students was launched from the R/V Thompson on May 24, 2015 off the coast of Washington.  It made landfall a few days later on Ocean Shores.  The vessel was recovered, and was redeployed again by the R/V Thompson on November 19th. After sailing several hundred kilometers to the south, it reversed direction, sailed north, and made landfall on Long Beach Vancouver Island on the 9th of December.

Its track can be see here.

Do you have a contact in that area who could help us recover this 5 ft vessel? Please share and contact OregonCoastSTEM@oregonstate.edu if you can assist!

Visit the SS Dolphin page on the Educational Passages website to learn more about the boat, its launch, and its journey.

Tillamook Students: Problem Solvers

Guest Contributor:  Annie Thorp

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Eliot

I have always thought that as an educator, I learned as much from my students as I taught them. A group of Tillamook students and their instructor recently had an opportunity to put what they had been taught into action. Their belief in what they had been taught combined with their enthusiasm for the project, resulted in achieving an invaluable success in the pursuit of research and exploration. Their findings and results were a huge help to their instructor and a very important project.

Photo credit:  Tillamook Estuaries Partnership

Photo credit: Tillamook Estuaries Partnership

Clair Thomas, an educator and researcher with Tillamook School District, is involved in numerous research projects, some involving water quality monitoring, habitat restoration, and estuary/wetlands management among others. He is also a Professional Development lead partner in the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, and his students have been learning about streams, salmon recovery, as well robotics and their numerous uses in aquatic environments.

East Beaver Creek

East Beaver Creek

One of their projects is to provide data for the BLM, the local watershed council, and the Oregon Department of Forestry, by measuring water temperatures in East Beaver Creek (near Tillamook) to determine if the water flow and temperature might be conducive for juvenile salmon migration. If the water flow is too fast, the juvenile salmon cannot swim up stream. The students have been experimenting with stream flow mitigation by placing large logs and boulders in strategic locations to slow the water flow and create areas of slower water called eddies. However, if water temperatures are too high, then oxygen levels may be too low for salmon, so monitoring the temperatures in the stream and pools is essential to provide necessary data for all the stakeholders involved.

HOBO data logger

HOBO data logger

They placed five instruments called HOBO data loggers in several places in the stream to measure the water temperatures. These instruments are checked periodically and the data are recorded. The HOBOs are secured to metal rebar to weight and anchor them to the streambed.

Usually, checking the data recorded is accomplished with a diver or person with a snorkel, but this past December, after heavy rains and water temperature of 8 degrees Centigrade, this normal method used to locate the HOBOs proved to be very difficult. The water visibility was poor due to recent heavy rains, and turbulence made it impossible to see the instruments and even when Clair went diving for them, he could neither see nor feel them, and the current made it difficult to maintain his position. The cold water also made his fingers so cold, they were numb, making feeling anything even more challenging. He managed to locate and retrieve only two of the instruments he needed.

Example of a student-built ROV

Example of a student-built ROV

Fortunately, his enterprising and clever students suggested that they use one of the ROVs they had designed and built in their robotics club. They proposed deploying the ROV in one of the eddies, as they had learned that this was an area where water flow would be minimal, hence increasing the odds of success at floating and maneuvering the device. Clair was skeptical at first, but his students reminded him that he had taught them about eddies, and they were confident they could use the ROV, that was equipped with camera, lights, and a grabber, to locate and retrieve the instruments.

They tethered the ROV on four sides with lines, deployed it in an eddy, and the search went wonderfully well. Within five minutes, they found the three missing loggers. The ROV picked up two of them, and the other could be seen wedged in a crack between two rocks, but after seeing its location, their ever-intrepid instructor, Clair Thomas, was able to retrieve it manually, after donning his wet suit again.

Clair is understandably proud of his student crew. Their collaboration and inspired use of the ROV technology they had designed and built, combined with thoughtful application of what they had learned, is a wonderful example of student success in a “real world” application. Kudos, to student team, Bryton Dorland, creator and builder of the ROV they used, Dylan Lundy, and Sabrina Polman. Another teacher, Nathan Sandberg, assisted Clair in his original diving search when the first two were located. Congratulations to students and staff for your remarkable teamwork.

 

Annie Thorp is a volunteer at HMSC and enjoys working on a variety of projects there. She is a retired community college adult educator, and a lifelong learner with a love of the ocean, ships, and all things aquatic. She was a Teacher at Sea, and a volunteer several times, along with her husband, on university research vessels. While at sea, they coauthored a blog called Buoy Tales, to help educate the public about the research being done by the scientists onboard. Her passion for marine sciences outreach and education, along with her involvement in HMSC education programs, inspired her to become a volunteer blogger with the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

 

Students Attend MTS

A group of coastal high school students and teachers were provided with a unique opportunity this week to participate in a professional marine technology conference. The NW Marine Technology Summit brought together industry leaders, researchers, higher education professionals and others who study the ocean with cutting-edge technology, and gave them the opportunity to network and learn from one another.

Organized by the Marine Technology Society (MTS), the theme for this year’s event was “Empowering Innovation in the Pacific Northwest”, and general subject areas included:

Randall Pittman from OSU (right) explains his poster to a Waldport High School student attending MTS

Randall Pittman from OSU (right) explains his poster to a Waldport High School student attending MTS

  • ROVs and Submersibles
  • Innovations in Data Collection, Usability, and Analysis
  • The State of the NW Marine Science Economy
  • Innovations in Ocean Observation
  • Promoting BlueTech in the Northwest
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
  • Marine Operations
  • New Sensors
  • Innovations in Underwater Communications
  • Marine Renewable Energy
  • Underwater Optics and Vision Systems

Members of Waldport High School's Oceanography class met Rep. David Gomberg at MTS

Members of Waldport High School’s Oceanography class met Rep. David Gomberg at MTS

 

Twenty-five high school students enrolled in Oceanography and Ocean Engineering classes at Waldport High School attended the summit, along with their teachers Melissa Steinman and Daniel Wirick, and two other educators from Toledo Jr/Sr High School. The students and teachers attended session presentations, asked questions, and networked with professionals throughout the two-day event. Students presented their underwater robot and poster at the Oregon Coast STEM Hub table, handed out business cards, and interacted with new technology in the Exhibit Hall. They learned about careers they hadn’t known about before, and met many people living on the coast today who make their living working with marine technology.

Debbie Kelley from the University of Washington offers career advice to students during the Speed Networking session

Debbie Kelley from the University of Washington offers career advice to students during the Speed Networking session

One highlight of the summit designed especially for students was the “Speed Networking” sessions held on both days. During each session, five professionals sat down with small groups of students to talk about marine STEM careers and opportunities, share their experiences and advice, and respond to student questions. After just a few minutes, each group rotated to a new professional, so that by the end of the session the students had interacted with all the adult participants. The fast-paced session was well received by all involved.

The Oregon Coast STEM Hub would like to thank those who shared their time with students in the Speed Networking session: Kevin Buch, OSU Diving Safety Officer; Wil Black, Jenny Walsh and Stacy Fogel from Point 97; Kristen Kolden from Alaska Seismic & Environmental; Markus Horning from OSU Marine Mammal Institute; Michael Vardaro from OSU College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences; Debbie Kelley from the University of Washington; Stewart Lamerdin, OSU Marine Superintendent; and Pete Zerr from Schmidt Ocean Institute.

Pete Zerr from Schmidt Ocean Institute shares career advice with students at the 2014 NW Marine Technology Summit.

Pete Zerr from Schmidt Ocean Institute shares career advice with students at the 2014 NW Marine Technology Summit.

Thanks also to the two Waldport High School teachers who prepared their students for attending the MTS event, and who helped them navigate once they were there. The students themselves are to be commended for infiltrating seamlessly into the summit and asking thoughtful questions. They will surely be discussing their impressions back in the classroom!

Student and teacher participation in the NW Marine Technology Summit resulted in meaningful interactions among current and future generations of ocean STEM professionals. Thanks to all the partners who made this experience possible.

Waldport HS students displayed their underwater robot at MTS

Waldport HS students displayed their underwater robot at MTS

Graphing Stories

Stories capture our interest and imagination.  How can the power of story be applied to math?

graphing-stories

A graphic representation of people walking down the stairs outside a building.

Dan Meyer is a teacher and mathematician who blogs and speaks about math education and teaching strategies.  One of his projects is called Graphing Stories, and the way it works is pretty simple: Watch a video of a 15 second event, and then draw a graph that describes a relationship depicted in the video.  For example, the video “Height” depicts a woman in Costa Rica jumping off a tree-top platform to swing on a giant rope swing.  We hear laughter and hear nervous shrieks.  How does her height above the ground change over time?  Students are challenged to draw a graph that describes the relationship.

There are several videos to choose from on the website, and each shows an event in regular and half time speed, and then ends with the answer.

Of course, the next question is, what kinds of video graphing stories could students create to share with others?  With student creativity unleashed, the whole world becomes potential fodder for creating graphing stories…

UPDATE 8-26-14

This just in… Dan Meyer has evolved his thinking since creating Graphing Stories back in 2007.  He has tweaked the way he uses the activity in his classroom and in workshops which focuses on more on *developing the question*:

Here’s how I’ve been doing a better job developing the question lately in workshops.

 

  • I play the video of Adam sliding.
  • I ask participants to tell their neighbors everything they saw. “Don’t miss a detail,” I say, and I’m always surprised by the details participants recall.
  • I play the video again and I ask the participants to tell their neighbors their answer to the question, “What quantities could we measure throughout the video?” People suggest all kinds of possibilities. Speed, distance from the left side of the screen, height, temperature.
  • Then I tell them I’d like them to focus on Adam’s height. I ask them to tell their neighbors in words what happens to his height over time.
  • We share some descriptions. People compliment and critique one another. Then I point out how difficult it is to describe his height over time in words alone.
  • Only then do I pass out the graphs.

The difference is immense. It takes an extra five minutes but participants are much better prepared to make the graph because they’ve spent so much time thinking about the relationship in so many informal ways. So many more participants walk away from the experience feeling like valued contributors to our group because the questions we’ve asked require a wider breadth of skills than just “graph relationships precisely”.

Read his entire August 15 post