Activity takes two class periods plus homework assignment. Computer with Internet access necessary.
In this role-playing activity, learners are presented with a scenario in which they will determine whether the Gulf Stream is responsible for keeping Europe warm. They must also address the potential future of the Gulf Stream if polar ice were to continue melting. The students work in small groups to identify the issue, discuss the problem, and develop a problem statement. They are then asked what they need to know to solve the problem.
Goals by the activity author:
Content/concepts goals for this activity
- Understand ocean circulation patterns.
- Understand the interaction between the ocean and atmosphere.
- Understand the role of the Gulf Stream in ocean circulation.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
- Hypothesis testing; interpreting inferences made about the Gulf Stream.
- Data analysis; evaulation of ocean circulation models.
- Presentation skills.
Other skills goals for this activity
- Writing coherently.
- Using the Internet/WWW as a source of information; evaluating the content of these sites.
- Group work; discussion skills.
ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION AND TEACHING MATERIALS
TEACHING NOTES / CONTEXT FOR USE
Teaching Tips/Context For Use by CLEAN Reviewers:
- Different research questions should be assigned to different students so that during the final presentation knowledge about different topics is shared.
About the Science
- From the activity summary: "The United Nations International Research Program has assigned your research group at the PSU Institute of Oceanography the task of making a recommendation as to whether the Gulf Stream is responsible for keeping Europe anomalously warm and the potential effects if polar ice were to continue melting."
- Activity can be modified to answer numerous research questions.
- Great way for students to learn the scientific process. A good activity before term papers are assigned.
- Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.
About the Pedagogy
- Assigning the activity to groups of students will be very effective.
- Assessment as a rubric is suggested but not provided
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- Easy and straightforward to use
Assessment by activity author:
They [students] complete the activity by preparing an individual report and PowerPoint presentation where they make a recommendation or other appropriate resolution of the problem based on the data, visualizations, and background information. Rubrics are distributed prior to their writing.
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
Related URLs: These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEANAlso see: http://essea.strategies.org/module.php?module_id=148
Description by activity author: Students are presented with a scenario (problem) to recommend whether the Gulf Stream is responsible for keeping Europe warm and the potential effects if polar ice were to continue melting. The students work in small groups and discuss the problem and identify the issue. They then list everything they know about the issue and develop a problem statement. They then ask what they need to know to solve the problem and search the Internet data sites, etc., and analyze the information gathered.