High Quality Work - Claim 2:
Research: In the Field
During the trip, students travel in small groups (3-6), with a staff member to planned field research experiences. From setting up intertidal zones to count species at the lowest tide of the trip, to meeting with an internationally renowned baroque oboe maker to interview, and experience his craft in his workshop, students delve deep into their research.
Students document data in multiple ways: digital or hard copy notes (capturing interviews and observations), collection forms, audio recording, photographs, sketches and video. Immediately after the field experiences, students support each other filling in forms and notes and finally, privately reflecting on the experience.
All students participate in each phase of the research process. However, it is the high stakes of authentic research, that engages even the most reluctant scholar. A variety of research questions and methods support the diverse student body.
Artistans & Craftsman: Interviews, Observations & Experience
The San Juan Islands are a microcosm of creativity. An inordinate amount of artisans and craftsman live and work in the area. This offered a variety of focuses as researchers had opportunities to meet several different makers and hone in on those who would most match individual research. From potters and carvers, to blacksmiths and a boat builder, students observed, experienced, interviewed, and documented. Explore Molly’s Final product to learn more about the experience on the Capstone page.
Sustainable Farming & Intertidal Zone
All 8th grade students engage in the IPP research process. And all participate in field research and complete and present a well-developed final piece. The concrete nature of farming and tide pool fieldwork offer a variety of entry points and levels of complexity that naturally differentiates for a variety of students to engage in original research. Hands-on experience is paramount. From moving cows and harvesting Kale to identifying which intertidal zone contains the most diversity, all engage. Explore Autumn’s Final Intertidal Zone product to learn more about the experience on the Capstone page.
Methods of Data Collection & Documentation
iPod & iPad apps offer easy access tools such as clinometers.
Students use notability for audio recording or video interviews while taking notes in the same document. On our return to school, students use their audios and videos to fact check, solidify understanding and add insight.
SLR cameras go a step beyond the iPad photos. Students learn photo documentation techniques including depth of field, focal length and exposure that can emphasize different aspects of the image.
Field notebooks offer a paper and pencil note taking opportunity with printed copies of interview questions, documentation forms, reflection prompts and blank pages.
Click for Seal, Sealion & whale fieldwork images
Click for Artisans & Craftsman fieldwork images
Click on "image" for Rachel's complete interviews
Seals & Sealions Data Collection: Obervation & Interview
Students researching seals and sea lions engaged in fieldwork that included observing animals in their habitat and interviewing a local expert whose expertise is in long-term impact of human interactions. Several students identified human impact as an area of study with subtle variations of the question. During their observations at Sharks Reef, two boats passed nearby the lounging seals and sea lions. Read the description of what happened linked here.
Click on "image" for observations
Click for Intertidal Zone fieldwork images
Click for Sustainable Farming fieldwork images
Click on "image" for whole Intertidal Zone Chart
Student whale researchers interviewed a national expert, went to a symposium lecture , and witnessed a rare sighting in the area. Four transient killer whales (not one of the resident pods) hunting a sea lion! None of their fieldwork questions focused on transients, but the experience was mind boggling, and added depth to students’ overall whale knowledge.