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What we did at summer camp, Part II

Posted on July 15th, 2010 by Bree and Jen

We are back at the Pavilion Lake Research Project this summer. It is great to return to the lake and rejoin the team. Our first night there, we were given homework. Usually we are the ones assigning homework, but this time it was different. Our task was to select a dive that we thought would help the team with their research and justify why this dive was, in fact, important to the team. We had a list of six dives that would all help the project, but we had to narrow it down to just one. As we started to interview and ask the scientists questions, it was clear that this would not be an easy task. The people that we talked to all had different reasons why each one was important. In the end, we selected one where the divers would measure the angle of the slope using an underwater inclinometer along a transect to see if the slope influences the morphology of the microbialites. The next morning, our dive was executed and we were on the boat to see our dive happen. We recorded the data – the depth, the angle and the sediment – as the divers used a scubaphone to communicate with us while they were underwater. This was very cool science and something we are excited to share with our students as they use inclinometers at school as well.

Divers use an underwater inclinometer to measure slope angle on our selected dive.

Our role at Pavilion Lake is to learn about the science that is happening at the lake and how we can teach about that back in the classroom with our students. Another task that filled our time was gathering resources and ideas for our lesson and activity ideas. We had a chance to interview, in video format, many of the people that are here studying the lake. We had some great interviews and learned in the process. Thank you to all those scientists who took time out of their busy day to let us interview them. As teachers, our summer vacation is just beginning. However, because of our experiences here at Pavilion, we are already looking forward to going back to school in September to share our time at the lake with our students through stories and science activities.

- Jen, Bree, & Leanne

Editor’s Note: Jen Stonehouse, Bree Mireau and Leanne Shortridge are teachers in the Greater Vancouver Area.

What Did You Do On Your Summer Vacation?

Posted on July 14th, 2009 by Bree and Jen

This is a question that we ask our students on the first day of school in September. Boy, we have some interesting things to share on our first day of school. This summer, we travelled together to the Pavilion Lake Research Project to learn about the science that is being done here and how it can be incorporated into the classroom. During the year Bree and I are both immersed in the classroom, and most of the time we are teaching science. Today we have found ourselves writing a blog which neither of us have done before. We seem to be entertaining the people around us with our different ideas of how best to compose one of these, and we will find out if we get a gold star later. The crew here have been very welcoming and happy to share about what they do here. In fact, our first night here we were allowed to get inside one of the DeepWorker submersibles which are used during the scientist flight missions (we were still on dry land, but still very cool). Part of us being here at Pavilion Lake was to integrate teachers into the different activities that go on here, and integrate us they did.

From left, Bree Riddell, Ricky Arnold and Jen Stonehouse

From left, Bree Riddell, Ricky Arnold and Jen Stonehouse

So we are sure you are wondering what we were were able to do at the lake. Unfortunately we were not allowed to drive the subs but we had many other cool opportunities to be part of the team. We sat in on science meetings, pilot meetings, classified data from the submersibles, talked to scientists and astronauts, observed the launches of the submersibles and helped record data from the flights as a science stenographer. One of things that we did was classify the images returned from the underwater flights. During the flights images of what the pilots see is recorded on camera. The pilots see very cool things when on their mission – microbialites. After the mission this data then has to be classified. We looked at images to identified what was in the image – microbialites, algae, rocks, sediment, trash – oh my! This is something that can easily be transferred to the classroom. We classify every day just like the scientists (just on a different level). As the team here classifies these images for science and further understanding, students can also classify these images in the process of learning how to do science. Trust us (or read the rest of these blogs if you don’t), microbialites are very interesting!

How did we do with our first blog? Did we get a gold star?

-Jen and Bree