Your students will use the Habitat Tracker website to research and collect information about the animals they will be investigating. There are ten animals, indigenous to Florida and highlighted on our website, that students will encounter as they walk along the boardwalk at the Tallahassee Museum during their visit. Each animal has its own page on our website where students can read about WHO the animal is, WHAT their place is in nature, WHERE they live, and HOW their families live. Students are also able to watch videos of the animals and peruse pictures of them in nature to get an idea of the animal’s behavior and the habitat. Even before students visit the museum, they are able to experience the collaborative and social nature of science as they join online discussions, investigate observations and inferences made by others, and utilize the journal function to share their thoughts and questions, using the website. Additionally, our site includes all the tools your students will need to analyze data after they have visited the museum. Check out the Bobcat pages to get a feel for the experience your student will have during this process.
On the day of your trip to the museum, students will use a handheld computer (iPad) loaded with the Habitat Tracker application (picture at the right) to record the observations they have made about animal behavior and their habitats, as well as input weather data they have collected from the weathers stations located throughout the museum. Students will also use the journal function to share additional information about their experience, such as the inferences they developed from their observations. This program has been designed so that it is intuitive to students, allowing them to concentrate on “being scientists” instead of spending time learning new technology.