Group IV Project

BY TONJA WEIMER and GINA KELLY

STURGIS CHARTER SCHOOL

 

Goals, objectives, and activities

Our students will have the opportunity to participate in  “real-life”investigations which promote both stewardship and scientific literacy of local aquatic environments on Cape Cod.The project spans over the course of four years. Each year,students will attend and participate on a field trip and classwork that develops field work skills and techniques.We are currently participating in the second year of the project and hope to continue for many years to come.The first three years,grades 9-11,students travel to different locations on Cape and learn data collection technique and stewardship for the specified sites.The locations visited each year are as follows:the vernal pools of Long Pasture Sanctuary to learn and assist with the data collection being carried out by the Audubon Society for their comparison study with vernal pools in Falmouth, Sandy Neck/Barnstable Great Salt Marsh to conduct a transect study collecting data that will be added to a database used by local scientist to understand and help preserve this area, and the tidal flats in Barnstable to assist with the Sanctuary’s Horseshoe Crab Project.In the last year of high school students,utilizing the techniques,skills,and knowledge gained from the previous years, complete an interdisciplinary group science project of a research question of his/her own group’s choosing at a local water environment nearby,this past year took place at Town Neck Beach in Sandwich. This project is required to fulfill the requirements of the IB Group IV science course and students will be assessed on his/her own personal skills.

 

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)

The project will be deemed successful if the data collected in each of the attended environments is good enough to become part of online data bases that the students create and share with the Long Pasture Sanctuary and with the Association for the Preservation of Cape Cod. These data bases will be designed based on the criteria of the sanctuary’s various studies and will be added to each year.
Another benchmark for the project will be achieved when our seniors can successfully apply the skills and knowledge gained from their freshmen, sophomore, and junior year investigations to their senior year International Baccalaureate Group 4 project.

 

Benefit to the students and the school

The entire Sturgis West science department will be participating in the project by extending and connecting the project to their specific course curricula goals, and by gaining valuable training in the implementation of a variety of protocols as they work beside their students in the field.

As a science student progresses through his/her years at Sturgis West, the student will also progress through the various Cape Cod ecosystems adding valuable data to multi-year studies.

 

Budget (Please detail how funding will be used. Itemize as appropriate.)

The $500 will be used to purchased waders of various sizes so that our students are able to gather data in the local water environments to better understand and uphold the conservation tactics in order to preserve the Cape Cod ecosystems.

Attached are some pictures, from last year and this year trips, which demonstrate  the students in the field and the use of waders on the trips.  The waders used in the pictures were borrowed from local community members.

Attachment 1:  Senior Fall 2013 Group IV Trip Attachment 2:  Sophomore Fall 2013 Great Marsh Trip- Transect Sampling Attachment 3:  Junior Spring 2013 Horseshoe crab tagging trip Attachment 4:  Freshman Spring 2013 Vernal Pool Trip

 

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable.)

This is currently the second year of carrying out the full program in each grade.  This current sophomore class will be the first class to graduate fulfilling all parts of the outlined program.  We hope to continue the working relationship with Audubon that allow our students to gain the knowledge and skills of fieldwork as well as practice stewardship for Cape Cod for many years to come.