After two years spent designing iPad apps and websites and developing a complementary Next Generation Sunshine State Standards-based curriculum, the Habitat Tracker team ran the project’s pilot test in September and October of 2012. Eight fourth and fifth grade classes in four schools participated in the test, working in their classrooms and on field trips to the Tallahassee Museum. During the six week test, Tracker team members observed the teachers and students in the classrooms and accompanied the classes on field trips as students learned about the nature of science and scientific inquiry, developed scientific questions, collected habitat, animal, and weather observation data, and finally analyzed the data and presented their findings.
We are happy to report that the pilot test showed significant gains in students’ attitude toward science, understanding nature of science, and views of scientific inquiry.
The Tracker team thanks the principals and fourth and fifth grade teachers and students from the following schools for participating in the project:
- Canopy Oaks Elementary School
- Fort Braden School
- Florida State University Schools
- Killearn Lakes Elementary School
In addition, we would like to thank the participating teachers for their help in curriculum development.
We also gratefully acknowledge the aid of the Leon County school district and the Florida State University Schools, and the staff of the Tallahassee Museum for all their work and support on behalf of the project.