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Category: Ecology

Ponds in Peril!  February 3rd, 2016

From our January Teachers’ Workshop:

We heard from Dan Preston, a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Integrative Biology. He presented a Ponds in Peril activity, and here are the materials we’d like to share with you:

Science Scope Article

This first video describes the set-up for the Ponds in Peril experiment, a great tool to use with your students.

This second video is a great overview of the entire project!

Ponds in Peril Full Worksheet Package

Powerpoints: Project OverviewFood Web ReviewAquatic MacroinvertebratesNutrient Pollution and Invaders, and The Process of Science

Monroe SMILE Club students show off their stream ecosystems!  November 24th, 2015

Monroe SMILE club students engineered stream ecosystems to meet the specific adaptations of the macroinvertebrates that they designed.  Once their streams were complete they added water to test their work!  Check out their creativity!


2015 August Teacher’s Workshop  August 25th, 2015

During the August SMILE teachers workshop we spent an entire day learning about Oregon’s geology, hazards, and preparedness. All of the lesson materials shared were connected to NGSS with a specific focus on Cross Cutting Concepts. Check out some of the fun activities:

We also had special guests who shared resources related to geologic topics.  Here are links to their websites:


During an elementary session, teachers learned about riparian systems and their importance to birds and other organisms and we built model ecosystems. Here are the lesson plans that support these concepts:

May Teacher Workshop Activities  May 27th, 2015

At the May Teacher’s Workshop held at the HJ Andrews Forest, SMILE teachers learned about how field investigations connect to NGSS Practices.  Teachers focused more specifically on how to help students develop questions, set up an investigation, and analyze and interpret the data that they collected. Below is the materials shared during this session.

Natures Notebook:

Teacher’s Workshop PowerPoint

Field Investigations Textbook

Introduction to Graphing Lesson

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Archaeological Awareness  May 21st, 2015

One of our SMILE clubs was featured in the Woodburn Independent Newspaper! SMILE club advisor Dave Ellingson and his students created an archaeological exhibit in the Woodburn Public Library to showcase some of bones of extinct animals found in Woodburn.  Read all about it in this article!

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Rain, Rain Go Away  April 8th, 2015

April showers bring May flowers right? Well how exactly do we measure such a thing? This article describes this processes. But why do we care? Right now throughout Oregon many cities are experiencing a drought while others are not. For cities that are, how much rain do you normally get this time of year? How many inches of rain would you need to catch up? For those that are not experiencing a drought, how much rain are you experiencing? These are great questions to ask your students.


Wildlife Forensics Lab  March 4th, 2015

There is only one wildlife forensics lab in the world and its located in Ashland, Oregon. This forensics lab is just like any other, except the victims are animals. This could be a great oppurtunity to talk with your students about how a wildlife forensics lab might differ from a human one (this link might be helpful). If you are nearby you might want to consider taking a lab tour.

New Grand Engineering Challenge: Food Waste  March 4th, 2015

Food shortage is not the only issue anymore.  Wasting food is having a dramatic effect on the environment, economy and society. An estimated $162 billion is being lost because of unused food, as seen in this New York Times article.  This is an interesting topic to pose to your students. What solutions can you come up with to solve the food waste problem in your club, school, community, state, country or world? How does this solution work? Share with us!