Field Investigations: Using Outdoor Environments to Foster Student Learning of Scientific Processes
Academic subject areas: Laboratory Science; Interdisciplinary; Career-Technical Education; Career Exploration
States' Career Clusters: Health Science; Government & Public Administration; Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources; Human Services; Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
California Industry sector(s): Public Services; Health Science and Medical Technology; Energy and Utilities; Agriculture and Natural Resources
Grade Target: All
Level of Expertise for CTE: Concentration/Skill building
Targeted Support Material: Community Involvement
Standards Addressed: Detailed documentation of alignment with Common Core, State and/or Industry Standards included
Green curriculum What's this?
Source: Web Site Credit: Amy E. Ryken, Ph.D., University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA; Patricia Otto, Pacific Education Institute, Olympia, WA; Kayleen Pritchard, Pacific Education Institute, Olympia, WA; Katie Owens, Orchard Center Elementary School, Spokane, WA. Developed by Pac
Curriculum Link: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/nonpwdpubs/media/field_investigation_guide.pdf
Related Website(s): http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/
This volume was developed to help K-12 teachers introduce their students to the methodologies used for scientific field research and guide them through the process of conducting field studies. In particular, this volume demonstrates how to use descriptive and comparative methodologies for field studies.
Expected Student Outcomes/Objectives
In field investigations, students will:
- Pose a research question then plan and conduct an investigation to answer that question.
- Use evidence to support explanations and build models, as well as to pose new questions about the environment.
- Learn that the scientific method is not a simple linear process and
- Experience the difficulty of answering essential questions such as:
- What defines my environment?
- What are all the parts and interrelationships in this ecosystem?
- What is a healthy environment?
- What is humans’ relationship to the environment?
- How has human behavior influenced our environment?
- How can our community sustain our environment?
- What is my role in the preservation and use of environmental resources?
This teacher’s guidebook presents three types of field investigations—descriptive,comparative, and correlative.
• Descriptive field investigations involve describing and/or quantifying parts of a natural system.
• Comparative field investigations, involve collecting data on different populations/organisms, or under different conditions (e.g., times of year, locations), to make a comparison.
• Correlative field investigations involve measuring or observing two variables and searching for a relationship.
Each type of field investigation is guided by different types of investigative questions. Descriptive studies can lead to comparative studies, which can lead to correlative studies. Lessons and models are provided for each stage of the research process, and for each type of field investigation.
Instructional Materials Provided
Background information, complete instructions, lesson plans, sample lessons, handouts and rubrics.