In 2011 the Sax Research Lab at Brown University and the Jackson Research Lab at the University of Wyoming began a collaboration with Stephanie Crook, a high school science teacher in Indiana. Our goal was to translate active research projects into curriculum activities for middle school and high school students in the Great Lakes region. We set out to have those activities fulfill three main requirements:
1. Be based on actual research and data, to help students understand the complexity of science in the real world
2. Align with state- and class-specific standards to maximize utility in the classroom
3. Focus on ecosystems and questions that are relevant for students in the Great Lakes region
Research in the Sax and Jackson Labs is focused on understanding the dynamics of plant species gain and loss in the Miller Woods ponds of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore over the past 150 years. To that end we have initiated a variety of research activities, including coring sediment in ponds to look at long-term changes in plant communities, surveying existing pond vegetation for comparison with historical studies, and examining the impact of non-native plant species. This research provides a basis for developing an exciting suite of curriculum activities that includes video presentations, interactive websites, and hands-on activities in the lab and the field.
Please select your state from the sidebar to the left to see what activities are available for your students!