Problem- Based Learning


Project Resources

Student Data

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Frederick County Public Schools

Student Projects

NOAA B-WET Project 
"Advancing Environmental and Geographic Literacy through Problem-based Learning in the Middle School Grades"

Student Data

As part of a problem based learning unit, students conducted experiments and observations on two field visits. They explored the history of Blandy and its buildings, the grounds and current uses of the land, how water moves over different surfaces and resulting impacts, and conducted tests to assess water quality. 

When students visited in the fall, they carried out a hydro-geology experiment investigating, 'How does water move over and into different ground surfaces? How does this movement affect runoff and groundwater recharge?"

Sample data

Amount of water: 1000 mL
surface water run off900 mL850mL300 mL10 mL
ground water recharge0 mL10 mL350 mL250 mL

During each spring field investigation, student teams used Vernier LabQuest equipment to test the water and examined the aquatic organisms in the water to assess water quality. 

Back in the classroom, students analyzed their data and compared it with other teams' data. Below is an example of the data for one of the ten spring visits.
Macroinvertebrate Data 4-23-15 

 Water Chemistry- Average of all students teams on 4/23/15 
Temperature (°C) 11.35 
pH 7.82 
Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L) 10.02 
Turbidity (NTU) 7.59 
Nitrates (mg/L) 4.15 
Phosphate (ppm) 0 

These data also were uploaded to Chesapeake Fieldscope, an on-line mapping and analysis tool to engage citizen scientists in investigations of real-world issue. 

This project is funded by a NOAA B-WET grant and is a partnership between UVA Blandy Experimental Farm & Frederick County Public Schools.