Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Sciences

“Connect, Explore, and Engage: Using the Environment as the Context for Science Learning” will increase teacher efficacy in the implementation and design of OER materials aligned with Wisconsin Standards for Science and Environmental Literacy and Sustainability (ELS).
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All resources in Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Sciences

Can You Catch the Water?

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Students construct three-dimensional models of water catchment basins using everyday objects to form hills, mountains, valleys and water sources. They experiment to see where rain travels and collects, and survey water pathways to see how they can be altered by natural and human activities. Students discuss how engineers design structures that impact water collection, as well as systems that clean and distribute water.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Denise W. Carlson, Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,, Janet Yowell, Jay Shah, Malinda Schaefer Zarske

Dam Forces

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Students learn how the force of water helps determine the size and shape of dams. They use clay to build models of four types of dams, and observe the force of the water against each type. They conclude by deciding which type of dam they, as Splash Engineering engineers, will design for Thirsty County.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Denali Lander, Denise W. Carlson, Integrated Teaching and Learning Program and Laboratory,, Kristin Field, Lauren Cooper, Megan Podlogar, Sara Born, Timothy M. Dittrich

Erosion in Rivers

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Students learn about water erosion through an experimental process in which small-scale buildings are placed along a simulated riverbank to experience a range of flooding conditions. They learn how soil conditions are important to the stability or failure of civil engineering projects and how a river's turns and bends (curvature, sinuosity) make a difference in the likelihood of erosion. They make model buildings either with a 3D printer or with LEGO® pieces and then see how their designs and riverbank placements are impacted by slow (laminar) and fast (turbulent) water flow over the soil. Students make predictions, observations and conclusions about the stability of their model houses, and develop ideas for how to mitigate damage in civil engineering projects.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: AMPS GK-12 Program,, Sophia Mercurio, Eduardo Suescun

Becoming Better Observers: How does observing, asking questions, and making connections help me understand things in nature?

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This series of 5 high-quality, standards-aligned, inquiry-based activities have been field-tested by first grade students and families of Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science during Safer At Home orders. These activities encourage students to use natural areas around their homes and in their neigbhorhoods as they improve their science observation skils. The materials used are ones generally available at home and the activites require little preparation on the part of caregivers.Created as a part of a WISELearn OER Innovation project, Connect, Explore, and Engage: Using the Environment as the Context for Science Learning was a collaboration of the Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science and the Wisconsin Green Schools Network. One of the goals of the project was to create standards-aligned lessons that utilize the outdoor spaces of the school (as well as those of the students' homes).  Each section of this resource is an individual activity. While each activity builds on the previous ones, it is possible to use them individually.The observation protocol "I Notice, I Wonder, It Reminds Me Of, I Think Maybe" has been adapted from that of the BEETLES Project.The title image was used with permission and is courtesy of Joe Riederer.

Material Type: Unit of Study

Authors: Sandy Benton, Karla Koch

Kindergarten Pushes and Pulls

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This series of 5 high-quality, standards-aligned, inquiry-based activities and two environmental STEM challenge activities have been field-tested by kindergarten students and families of Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science during Safer At Home orders. These activities encourage students to use natural areas around their homes and in their neigbhorhoods as they improve their science observation and reasoning skils as they explore the science of pushes and pulls in nature. The materials used are ones generally available at home and the activites require little preparation on the part of caregivers. Created as a part of a WISELearn OER Innovation project, Connect, Explore, and Engage: Using the Environment as the Context for Science Learning was a collaboration of the Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science and the Wisconsin Green Schools Network. One of the goals of the project was to create standards-aligned lessons that utilize the outdoor spaces of the school (as well as those of the students' homes).  Each section of this resource is an individual activity. While each activity builds on the previous ones, it is possible to use them individually.The title image was used with permission and is courtesy of Joe Riederer.

Material Type: Unit of Study

Authors: Sandy Benton, Michelle Vanlieshout

Remix

Plant and Animal Interdependence

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This series of 5 high-quality, standards-aligned, inquiry-based activities and one STEM challenge have been field-tested by secong grade students and families of Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science during Safer At Home orders. These activities encourage students to use natural areas around their homes and in their neigbhorhoods as they improve their science and engineering skils relating to plant and animals interdependence. Created as a part of a WISELearn OER Innovation project, Connect, Explore, and Engage: Using the Environment as the Context for Science Learning was a collaboration of the Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science and the Wisconsin Green Schools Network. One of the goals of the project was to create standards-aligned lessons that utilize the outdoor spaces of the school (as well as those of the students' homes).  These lessons were created to take place during the spring. However, some of the lessons could be conducted during the fall. Cut flowers from a florist may be used in place of ones found living outdoors.The title image was used with permission and is courtesy of Joe Riederer. The observation protocol "I Notice, I Wonder, It Reminds Me Of, I Think Maybe" has been adapted from that of the BEETLES Project.

Material Type: Unit of Study

Authors: Sandy Benton, Jennifer Beno

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Observe, Wonder, Connect in Nature

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This series of 5 high-quality, standards-aligned, inquiry-based lessons have been field-tested by the 4K students of Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science, their teacher and educational assistant. These lessons encourage students to use natural areas around their school as they improve their science and engineering skills as part of a unit on observing changes. Created as a part of a WISELearn OER Innovation project, Connect, Explore, and Engage: Using the Environment as the Context for Science Learning was a collaboration of the Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science and the Wisconsin Green Schools Network. One of the goals of the project was to create standards-aligned lessons that utilize the outdoor spaces of the school . These lessons were created to take place during late winter.

Material Type: Lesson, Unit of Study

Author: Sandy Benton

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Slip, Slide, Roll, and Drag: Wintertime Exploration of Forces and Motion

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This series of 5 high-quality, standards-aligned, inquiry-based lessons have been field-tested by third grade students of Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science and their teacher. These lessons encourage students to use natural areas around their school as they improve their science and engineering skills as part of a unit of forces and motion. Created as a part of a WISELearn OER Innovation project, Connect, Explore, and Engage: Using the Environment as the Context for Science Learning was a collaboration of the Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science and the Wisconsin Green Schools Network. One of the goals of the project was to create standards-aligned lessons that utilize the outdoor spaces of the school . These lessons were created to take place during the winter.

Material Type: Lesson, Unit of Study

Author: Sandy Benton

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Wequiock Wave Watchers

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This series of 5 high-quality, standards-aligned, inquiry-based lessons have been field-tested with the fourth grade students of Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science, their teacher, and a community science volunteer . These lessons encourage students to use natural areas around their school as they improve their science and engineering skills. Created as a part of a WISELearn OER Innovation project, Connect, Explore, and Engage: Using the Environment as the Context for Science Learning was a collaboration of the Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science and the Wisconsin Green Schools Network. One of the goals of the project was to create standards-aligned lessons that utilize the outdoor spaces of the school . These lessons were created to take place during the winter and spring.

Material Type: Lesson, Unit of Study

Authors: Sandy Benton, Joanna Wiitanen

Remix

Watershed Studies: Where Does Your Water Flow?

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This series of 5 high-quality, standards-aligned, inquiry-based lessons have been field-tested by the fifth grade students of Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science and their teachers. These lessons encourage students to use natural areas around their school as they improve their science and engineering skills as part of a unit on earth's systems. Created as a part of a WISELearn OER Innovation project, Connect, Explore, and Engage: Using the Environment as the Context for Science Learning was a collaboration of the Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science and the Wisconsin Green Schools Network. One of the goals of the project was to create standards-aligned lessons that utilize the outdoor spaces of the school . These lessons were created to take place during late winter. A stewardship project to reduce the impact of stormwater run-off was planned for the spring.

Material Type: Lesson, Unit of Study

Authors: Sandy Benton, Erica Baeten, Catherine Ciarlette-Hansen