Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of chaperoning a science field trip to the Boston Museum of Science. What I am most impressed about from this field trip is that students and teachers are not ‘just taking a field trip’. The science teachers have thoughtfully thought through learning objectives and activities for the students to participate in while at the museum. It was great to see true collaboration in action as well as thoughtful integration of technology at the same time. Very proud moment for bulldogs for sure.
Changing things up this time around as I have a co-blog post writer, Leah Morrissey, Biology Teacher at Bedford High School, who has helped me write the following.
Bedford High School is an International Baccalaureate school in New Hampshire. The Group 4 Project is an IB syllabus requirement, in which all the IB year two science students in the school collaborate on scientific inquiry. The aim is to encourage an understanding of the relationship between the different scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method.
For the past two years, BHS science teachers have decided to have their IB students in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics take a trip together to the Museum of Science. The Museum of Science coupled with a series of fun, tech related investigations allowed for students to work together to appreciate the connections between scientific disciplines. Students must analyze data, look up information, create video reflections, and take photos to document their exploration of science. Students are able to use their Chromebooks (yes, the museum has great wifi), and in some cases, need those Chromebooks to complete tasks. The YouTube video below provides a quick window through the day.
The science teachers placed students into 19 different groups, dividing them evenly into their ‘science expertise’, meaning a biology student is working with at least one physics and one chemistry student. Groups are given one task at a time to complete and report back to the home base to receive the next task. NOTE: All groups are not completing the same task at the same time. In other words, ⅓ of the groups are working on activity 1 at one time.
Since students that are attending the field trip are from different classes and different teachers, a Group 4 Field Trip google classroom was created to disseminate information prior to as well as during the field trip. This one stop shop classroom was perfect for sharing important links and resources. When groups checked in for their task, they were either given paper copies for handwritten responses, school Android phones for digital scavenger hunt or paper copies explaining what to do through Google Classroom for video submissions. Through all three tasks, students were asked to experience hands on, research activities. Below is the description of the three tasks:
Activity 1: The Hall of Human Life
At the Hall of Human Life, teams of students were asked to visit a combination of choice and required displays. The goal here was to document connections between biology, chemistry, and physics using human life as an inspiration. To culminate this activity, teams made a flipgrid video in order to articulate their findings. Below are products from five different groups sharing their findings. Click HERE to view them in a different window.
*Students have given permission for their videos to be shared. Mrs. Morrissey used the mixtape feature in Flipgrid to curate a couple of group responses.
Activity 2: Yawkey Gallery
The Yawkey Gallery is an exhibit where students were asked to analyze all aspects of life and use on the Charles River. Observing river water, engineering a bridge, analyzing data and producing graphs were among the tasks that teams performed here. To document their work, students took photos of their work and submitted data and engineering analyses. To see a copy of what the Boston Museum has created click HERE.
Activity 3: Scavenger Hunt
Students were asked to find items around the museum to further their learning and understanding. Last year, students completed this task with Google Classroom. For every task, students would upload a picture of evidence. This year, we decided to take it to the next level and use Goosechase (app for mobile devices). Our school has a set of android phones that we use for educational purposes. We took some of these phones with us to the museum for the students to use to complete their task. With Goosechase, students logged into the scavenger hunt that we created for the day to find the tasks that they needed to discover. Students were able to take a picture right from the app and provided written statements based on what they discovered.
How would the science teachers like to take it to the next level? The ultimate dream would be for other IB schools in the Boston area to also participate in the group 4 experience that the teachers have created and have our students work with other students from other schools. What speaks more to collaborating with others than working with other high school students.
BHS science teachers would also like to incorporate more exhibits and fun tasks to complete to help elevate the Group 4 experience. The Museum of Science has a lot to offer and the heart of the Group 4 project is to investigate science just for the love of science.
Thankful for a being a part of this experience. Lots of time and energy was put into getting this field trip put together and I give the teachers involved much kuddos. Thanks again to Mrs. Morrissey for co-writing this blog post.
And that is our Spiel…