Pre-Cruise Blog by Teacher at Sea – Diana Tucker

Cal-Echoes in the Classroom
Roehm Middle School
Diana Tucker
These past few weeks have been buzzing with excitement as students at Roehm Middle School have completed their “Life on a Research Vessel” assignments.  We began our unit on The Scientific Method by exploring our current image of a scientist. I was amused, but not very surprised, at the stereotypical “old man with crazy white hair in a lab coat” response many of the students gave.  As we began to explore the Cal-Echoes web page, and the many researchers involved, many students were surprised to see that real scientists are actually quite normal! They were excited to see two of their own teachers, myself and Ms. Darrow playing the role of scientist on the upcoming expedition as well. We followed this activity by responding to the challenge on the Cal-Echoes web page to create an artistic product that depicts life on a research vessel. I allowed total open-endedness for this challenge. Some students drew pictures, others created stories. Others took the assignment to a new level. I have spent my teacher lunch periods for nearly two weeks now quietly watching a few of my most creative students produce video productions that depict life on a research vessel. Aside from the time they have put in at school, these students have spent countless hours outside of school putting these productions together.  There is nothing more rewarding than seeing students get excited about what they are learning. What an inspiration these students are! I am so excited to share the cruise experience with them and watch as their understanding of the nature of science grows with each new activity!

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