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NCTAF NSTA presentation. Wilde Lake High School. Project 1: Erosion! What’s the big deal? We want students to have a better understanding of how erosion occurs and what it looks like through practical, real-world experiences.

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Nctaf nsta presentation

NCTAF NSTA presentation

Wilde lake high school

Wilde Lake High School

  • Project 1: Erosion!

    • What’s the big deal? We want students to have a better understanding of how erosion occurs and what it looks like through practical, real-world experiences.

    • What’s the bottom line? We want students to have opportunities to do real science.

Earth science

Earth Science

Ms. Cooper (Science Resource – retired teacher) talks to students about the Chesapeake Bay watershed and how groundcover affects permeability

Earth science1

Earth Science

Mr. Rose (Algebra 1) teaches students how to use trigonometric functions to find the slope of a hill



Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) students used sieves to determine the size, weight, quality and classification of different soil types for the purpose of soil engineering.

Algebra 1

Algebra 1

  • Algebra 1 students use the data from the CIM projects to practice graphing and finding the line of best fit.

What went well

What went well:

  • Collaboration between different disciplines

    • Tech class provided data to Algebra; Science field trip required students to solve using trig functions

  • Use of real data in the classroom

    • Algebra students were excited to use data that their classmates had recorded

  • The Soil Lady increased interest in science careers

    • Students were interested in what she (an Earth scientist) does at NASA

  • Field Trip – Howard County Conservancy

What could have gone better

What could have gone better:

  • More student crossover

    • Very few student have the same teachers

  • More cohesive unit plans

    • Involve everyone on our team equally

  • Usage of our physics and upper level math connections

    • Encourage our students to teach other students

Teacher reflection

Teacher Reflection:

  • “My students were really excited that they were graphing data that was actually collected by their peers – they couldn’t believe that students from their school were designing and carrying out these really exciting experiments and doing real science”

    ~ Amanda Golden, Algebra 1 Seminar Teacher

Student feedback

Student Feedback:

  • “The field trip allowed us to get out of the classroom and actually observe first hand what we had been learning about.” ~Jack

Student feedback1

Student Feedback:

  • “The soil lady opened up my eyes to whole new world about soil. I never knew how interesting this small thing called soil could be, and how beneficial it is to our planet Earth!” ~Lindsey

Who s involved

Who’s Involved?

  • Each learning team consists of…

    • Five classroom teachers

      • Earth Science

      • Math

      • Technology education

      • Others – special education, physics, etc.

    • A retired science teacher who serves as a mentor

    • Administration that value the promotion of STEM experiences in the classroom

Who s involved1

Who’s Involved?

  • The NCTAF team consists of…

    • Kathleen Fulton – Director, Reinventing Schools for the 21st Century

    • Elizabeth Foster – Director of Strategic Initiatives

Who s involved2

Who’s Involved?

  • The HCPSS central office team consists of…

    • Rick Marquart – STEM grant manager

    • Alicia Oelfke – Science resource teacher

Who s involved3

Who’s Involved?

  • The NASA team consists of…

    • Trena Ferrell – Goddard Space Flight Center Education Specialist

    • Dr. Meeson – Assistant Director of Earth Sciences for Education, Outreach and Application

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