Invasive species

Explore the Vital Signs Crab Dataset

Students will explore Vital Signs crab data from 2003 to 2017 to investigate changing populations of native and invasive crabs over time and space. Use part I to get accustomed to the online tools, part 2 to practice using the data to answer questions, and part 3 to engage with the question "How do the populations of green crabs, Asian share crabs, and native crabs compare up and down the coast of New England?"

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
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Purple loosestrife and biodiversity mini-investigation with existing data

Students will collect print outs of existing data from along a mock transect inside the school building. They will compare results, first in this small dataset organized in graphs created by hand and then in a large online database, to determine whether purple loosestrife has an impact on biodiversity in this mock investigation. Use this sequence as a stand-alone lesson in data analysis or as preparation for collecting data on purple loosestrife out in the field.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Japanese knotweed and bug biodiversity data investigation

Does Japanese knotweed have an affect on bug populations? There is not a lot of existing data to say. Be among the first to investigate this question with your students. This full unit, originally developed for a week-long middle school summer STEM program and now adapted for the classroom, includes 8 to 12 days of lesson plans, student notebook, and flexible final project rubric.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Mission: Native vs Invasive Shrub Phenology Teacher Resources

Mission: Native vs. Invasive Shrub Phenology investigates the question, "How is climate change affecting the timing of seasonal changes in native and invasive shrubs?"

The attached teacher resources include standards alignment, materials needed, tips for fieldwork, a full unit outline, lesson plans, and a student notebook to support teachers in conducting this investigation with students. Please let us know what you think of these resources by leaving a comment below or contacting us at vitalsigns@gmri.org.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Findings from the Field: Abbreviated Article Format

Many classrooms across the state of Maine are investigating interesting questions, collecting data, and drawing conclusions that ought to be shared with the science community but just do not have time to produce a full research article. For that reason, Findings from the Field is now accepting abbreviated submissions.

Submissions following the abbreviated format must include:

    A graph, table, chart, or figure showing data that was collected
    A short description of the data (2 to 3 sentences)
    A scientific argument, including:
Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Fieldwork Management Strategies: Supporting Documents

Use these documents, developed by Vital Signs teacher Kellie Ouellette, to manage student teams and support students in monitoring their own growth and learning in their Vital Signs investigations.

Kellie's explanation of how she uses the resources:

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
These resources were created by Vital Signs teacher, Kellie Ouellette
Documents

Oh Deer! Invasive Species and Ecosystem Modeling Game--with Data Analysis!

This lesson expands on the old favorite modeling game, Oh Deer!: Invasive Species Style by adding a data analysis component. Dig deeper by tracking changes in abundance of habitat resources, native, and invasive species over time.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Formal Science Writing Tools: Science Article Overview and Checklist

Use this checklist as a quick reference for the components of a science article. For more complete descriptions and resources see other Formal Science Writing lesson plans and handouts in the Vital Signs curriculum bank.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Independent Ecology Investigation

This full unit of study structures a student-driven learning experience that has students defining a research question, planning a Vital Signs data investigation, analyzing and interpreting their data, and communicating their findings. Students are guided through group activities designed to develop background knowledge in relationships in ecosystems and skills around data collection and analysis. Students extend this work by applying the newly developed skills and concepts to a student-driven investigation which culminates in creating a product to share their results.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Formal Science Writing and Revision Tools: Results

Representing and describing data are challenging tasks. The tools included here support students in pulling together their results section, including choosing a graph and writing a results narrative. Resources include organizers, handouts to prompt student writing, and peer review forms for a results section of a science article.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
These resources were pulled together by teachers participating in the Vital Signs Next Steps Institute: Launching Maine's First Middle School Journal of Scientific Research.
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