Roadkill Data Analysis: Using Spreadsheets to Integrate Math and Scienceby: Christopher Moore and Richard Huber

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The process of inspiring students into framing authentic questions and then providing them structured support in answering the questions through scientific research is widely recognized as a key element, if not the heart and soul, of inquiry-based science education. Large online databases, when combined with appropriate data-manipulation tools and data-visualization tools, provide excellent tools for teaching an integrated curriculum that includes science process skills, science content, mathematics, and technology. This paper examines one tool for inspiring such questions and supporting their exploration: the Forestry Outreach Site (FORSITE) roadkill database.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:19 AM

Students contribute data to a website database that logs the animal and number of times it becomes roadkill through a website called FORSITE. Students get to contribute data and manipulate data. The topic appeals to middle school students. Students learn a three step procedure for manipulating data to answer a question they pose. Using data manipulation and data visualization tools students learn a valuable skill used by scientists to answer questions.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:05 PM

This article promotes the use of data bases as a form of hands-on science. It includes a website that can be used to analyze road kill in Virginia. Included are student-center directions on how to analyze the data, a student-centered worksheet on how to work with Excel, and teacher directions on how to incorporate a more inquiry based approach to this lesson. I would be more interested in analysis of road kill data in my local area, but the included link would be a great start. I especially liked the detail directions on how to work between the website database and the Excel program. This lesson would be a great fit with our environmental science unit.

Susanne Hokkanen  (Orland Park, IL)
Susanne Hokkanen (Orland Park, IL)

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