CarboSchools – SchoolsCO2web (Sharing Experiments continues)

lørdag 2 mai 2009, kl. 23:04 | Publisert i Konferanser og kurs | 1 kommentar
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Through the CarboSchools collaboration there is made a website – SchoolCO2web.

Mirko (Germany): Collecting, analysing and showing CarboSchools data to the public

Mirko is teaching computer science and has used a weather station in the CarboSchools project. His students has worked on making a webpage with PHP and MySQL technology where they are displaying, analyzing and processing data from the weather station. The students has made a user platform and plotting functions.

They’ve used a Vaisala weather station, it looks like a Davis weather station, maybe it is possible to connect the weather station we’ve bought in my school? Connection to CO2net program.

The data needs to be sent via a ftp-server I need to check this with the ICT department in my school, if we have that possibility.

The goal was to publish the important data, and to visualize them in a sensible way. Other schools are invited to comtribute with their data.

Menno (Netherlands): Downloading and Analysing data from the SchoolCO2-Web

Menno is a regional coordinator in the TSP and/or CarboSchools in the Netherlands. He showed us how we can use the SchoolCO2web. For instance if you plot the CO2 levels with windspeed, you might see the effect of mixing on the CO2 levels. This is a great resource for teachers!

You can also download data from SchoolCO2web. Must remember that you can only download data for 1 month at a time. If you want to see videotutorials for displaying the data in Excel, Menno has published videotutorials at Youtube.

CarboSchools – Sharing experiments

fredag 1 mai 2009, kl. 17:54 | Publisert i Geofag, Konferanser og kurs | 1 kommentar
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May 1st – free time to finish my blog posts about the CarboSchools meeting in Pistoia.

Monday 27th of April it was time for Sharing Experiments. The morning session included Presentation of Experiments and Activities, whereas the afternoon session included parallel activities (workshops, outdoor activities, hands-on experiments, video showings, photo galleries, poster presentations)

Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere

Francesca (Italy): CO2 measurements in the different areas of the school

A short presentation of an experiment done with students at a school in Prato. They used an instrument for measuring CO2 in the schools classrooms with and without students, smoking areas, the school yard… The students also wanted to explore the difference in CO2 pressure with altitude – the school has four floors and the student did measurements in different heights. They presented their results at posters.

Anna (Spain) with teachers: Measurement of CO2 along a transect running from a higher to a lower altitude

3 different schools outside of Barcelona – measuring CO2 at different altitudes, looking for difference between the coast and further up the mountain sides.

  • differences between land and countryside due to land use
  • CO2 mixing due to wind, sea breezes, catabatic winds
  • inversion layers – instabilities in the atmosphere – orographic lift – convection

Conceptual objectives

  1. Learn how to measure meteorological parameters using proper devices
  2. Georeference technologies and topographic maps (GPS Google Earth)
  3. Work with spreadsheets
  4. Procedural objectives
  5. Apply the scientific method
  6. Develop autonomic skills
  7. Cooperative work between scientists, students and teachers

Material needed

  1. CO2 sensor with support (Vaisala)
  2. Portable meteorological station
  3. Solar radiation and rain protection (umbrella)
  4. Anemometer and barometer
  5. Topographic maps
  6. Filling in the worksheet
  7. GPS

Development of the activity

  1. Description of the measurement site
  2. Description of the meteorological situation
  3. Measurement of meteorological parameters
  4. Measurement for CO2 6 min
  5. Other interesting things  the site (traffic etc)

Later the students will meet as scientists and exchange their results with each other.

This was really interesting, I’d like to try some of this with my students, and maybe have a similar exchange with other schools in Bergen who teaches geo-science. I need more experience with the data loggers the school bought earlier this year.

Roser (Spain): Hands-On Experiments in the Classroom

Roser showed us several small hands-on experiments that she has used in her classroom – experiments that show the effect of CO2, water vapour and SO2 on temperature. Necessary equipment – glass jars, plasticine, temperature sensors, beakers, water, yeast, sugar / glucose, vinegar, sodic hydrogen carbonate. These experiments are easy to bring into our classrooms – this is what teachers want 🙂

Example – The greenhouse effect (this is from Roser’s own work)
What you need:
  • Three glass jars with lid. The lid has to have a hole to introduce the temperature sensor or the thermometer.
  • Plasticine
  • Temperature sensors or thermometers
  • Two beakers
  • Water
  • Yeast and sugar (glucose), or, vinegar and sodic hydrogen carbonate, which will provide CO2
  • Spoon
  • Light
The activity
  • To obtain CO2 there are two possibilities: mixing vinegar and sodic hydrogen carbonate or adding sugar to a mixture of warm water and yeast.
  • To obtain water vapour we will use a beaker with water.
  • You have to put a beaker with the mixture producing CO2 in a glass jar. Another beaker with water in another glass jar, and we also need an empty glass jar.
  • You have to put the three jars in the Sun with the sensors or the thermometers inside. We need an extra sensor or thermometer to measure the outside temperature. Be careful to put it in a place that has only contact with the air.
  • We will measure the initial temperature and the temperature changes every 5 minutes during 15 minutes if we are using thermometers or you can take continuous data if you have sensors. In each case note the temperature changes every 5 minutes.

CarboSchools – Saturday and Sunday

onsdag 29 april 2009, kl. 16:51 | Publisert i Konferanser og kurs | Legg igjen en kommentar
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Sitting in airports – again 😉 Reflecting on the last few days, trying to summarize the project meeting that I have attended in Pistoia, Toscana, Italy. This blog post will have fractions of “cut and paste” from my notes taken during the sessions. (And it will be in English, since there might be some international readers to this post 😉 )

The meeting started Saturday afternoon, and this part was for the teachers participating in the project – here are teachers from Vienna (Austria), Jena & Kiel (Germany), Barcelona (Spain), Bordaux & Paris (France), Bergen (Norway), Copenhagen (Denmark), Gröningen (Netherlands), Beneveneto & Prato (Italy). The main reason why the coordinators find it very interesting that the teachers participate as well, is because the scientists and organizers lack hands-on experience from the classroom.

Saturday afternoon we got divided in two groups – one group for the teachers who are interested in forming a Comenius partnership (where I attended) and one group for teachers who were interested in international partnerships on the outside of Comenius. I asked – as the fresh teacher I still am – why someone did not want to be a part of Comenius, and the answer is because of paperwork. They’d rather have their students’ parents contribute to the cost of exchanges with students. This is not possible in Norway now, due to “Gratisprinsippet” (the principle of a free education in every aspect).

Before going into the different groups, we were told to remember three things; 1) focus on a common product that should be the result / outcome of this co-operation; 2) focus on a calendar; and 3) find a common title for the partnership. After these four days in Pistoia, we are now 10 teachers from 10 different schools in 4 different countries who wants to apply for a multilateral partnership within the Comenius programme. We have more or less set a date for our next meeting (October), which should be a contact seminar. All of us must now go back our schools / countries and apply for funding for this kind of seminar to make a proposal for this multilateral partnership. Our working title ESCOS (the rest is a secret 😉 ) (Well, the first thing we need are a “good-to-go”- sign from our school leaders / headmasters / principals)

The first half of the sunday meeting was also a teacher’s part. In CarboSchools there have been published two booklets about Carbo-Topics. For the third and final publication they want the teachers’ voice to count – because they want this publication to be something that teachers can use as a teachers’ resource for years to come – also teachers who hasn’t participated in the CarboSchools Programme. When we (teachers) looked at the first draft of the chapters, we said “this is not a book that a teacher will read”, so we got it changed 😉

Personally this discussion pushed my thoughts towards my own teaching, my own curricula in my subjects, and how I can implement some of the aspects in CS more into my classroom. This might be published in a separate blog post later.

In the second half of the Sunday meeting, we had a joint session with TSP (Teachers Scientist Programme). Here we got a presentation of one of the modules that is made in Sweden, and they had some of their students there as well to tell us about their experiences being a student in a TSP module.  Their foci is quite interesting;

  • Benefits of collaborating with scientists: enthusiasm; positive attitude; explanations of complex material in an easy way – but the scientist oneself must be motivated and enthusiastic him/herself, otherwise the students want dare to say anything
  • Before a big project, the students need a solid background in the subject
  • The teacher has to be a good mentor; who helps the students / group in their project planning, and to be a good supervisor along the way. (When the problems get harder, it is nice to be able to contact a scientist that you’ve already met, and that you feel that you “know”)
  • The students felt that they had learnt A LOT, but that the instructions for the project wasn’t good enough, they didn’t feel well enough prepared for such a big project
  • Their advice: let the students read reports from students from last year, and let them work in groups, maybe even a group of 10-12 students together

Written Tuesday night at Firenze and Frankfurt airports, links were added Wednesday when I was back in Bergen.

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