SO WHAT ?
WHAT WE DID
HOW WE DID IT
WHAT WE DISCOVERED
We feel that this is a good introductory inquiry for middle school students. This gives them hands on experience with the sweep method which has a high interest level and actively involves the students. Sweeping is a standard sampling method used by the scientific community and this activity could easily be replicated in or near any school grounds. This activity also fulfills standards 1 and 4 in the Arizona Science Standards.
Our data was too small to come to any definite conclusions but our findings tend to support our hypothesis. This activity will open a platform for other student generated questions and research. The students will also be able to critique their methods, data collecting limitations and classifications schemes.
Further studies could include different types of sampling methods, sampling over time,different burn types, seasonal factors, preservation of species collected, different life forms sampled, or whatever the students' own inquiry would generate.
This is a great learning experience for the students and one that you will be glad to incorporate in your science adventures.
Brower, J.E., Zar, J.B.,von Ende, C.N. Field and Laboratory Methods for General Ecology, Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 1990.
Borror, Donald J., White, Richard E., A Field Guide to Insects of America north of Mexico, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York.
Dr. Moier,Will. Rocky Mountain Research Center USDA. In class lecture,June 17,1998.
Arizona Department of Education, Science Standards, 6/23/97.