STAGE 1: UNDERSTAND Climate Change
STAGE 1: UNDERSTAND Climate Change a. Regional Research Station
B. Extreme Weather Station
Setup a Regional Research Station in your school, or neighborhood to investigate climate change in your community. The station can be a physical outpost to collect, display and explore research gathered on issues related to climate change. Set up your station in a centrally located spot in your school or neighborhood to display what you’ve collected or learned. This can be a bulletin board in a hallway, a public kiosk, display case or other surface. Next – let’s start researching! Once you have collected material for your research station – pin up, display and provide opportunities for others to add, comment and share.
Setup a weather station to record weather patterns in your local community, and create a space to share this information on your Regional Research Station. To get your weather station started, you can easily create a rain gauge using a small glass jar or cylinder, an anemometer can be made with plastic cups to measure wind speed, and a temperature/pressure gauge is easy to find and install outside. Once you have your tools for measurement assembled, install the weather station in a central location near your school or home with a large sign. Learn about artist Andrea Polli’s project Hello Weather!, a project to de-mystify the collection and use of weather and climate data by bringing artists, technologists, ecologists and environmentalists together around citizen weather stations. andreapolli.com/hello_weather
Introduction to Research: Conduct a Field Study Research can take many forms, involving observation, collection of knowledge, and reflection. Practice your research skills by conducting a brief field study near your home or school: • Observe and Record: Conduct a field study to hone your capacities for observation. Choose a location in your school or neighborhood and spend 20-30 minutes sitting and observing everything that happens. Keep a detailed record in a journal of happenings – note the time, who was present, setting, temperature – also speculate on what’s not happening.
Finally, monitor your station regularly and keep a weekly journal to compare with historical data on weather patterns and phenomena in the area. If you’re working in a group, you can assign different tasks to each person – temperature, rainfall, windspeed etc. Share your weather station results with others and monitor frequently.
C. Tidal Markers
D. HighWaterLine Blog
Create a series of tidal markers using scrap wood or other materials to demarcate tidal sea/water levels in your area/community. To start making your markers, paint your collected materials a neutral color. Measure and paint depth measurements with a bright color every half or quarter foot. Make sure to leave room at the bottom of your marker for where you’ll stake into the ground. If you live near an ocean or body of water affected by the tides, research tidal flow data to see when high and low tide occurs throughout each day and what levels to expect (check lunar calendar for low and high tide changes). Next choose a location to install and visit at various points during the day to see how the tidal depths have changed. If you’re not near a body of water, you can imagine these as temporary public sculptures and install with messages or links to climate change websites. (Note: Please remember to get permission to leave your markers in a specific location, and work with someone who can properly install each marker)
Create an online blog to collect research gathered from your regional research station, and from reports, news sources and personal accounts. You can use a variety of online platforms for free including Blogger and Tumblr. Imagine yourself in the role of amateur journalist and create a summary and localized account of climate change information for others to view and use in your community. Invite a local environmental organization or environmental scientist from local a university to come talk with you and your class/ community, and share a story on your new Blog. Use #highwaterline to tag any media generated. (Note: If you have internet access restrictions in your school, get permission to use sites like kidblog.org from your principal)
NOTE: This can also be done in an arid climate near a riverbed. Another example artwork is the Boulder Creek Flood Level Marker Project by Mary Miss: weadartists.org/colorado-marking-floods
Assessment Idea: In each of these activities, assess participant’s proficiency with a “KWL” writing assignment asking those involved to answer three questions: what do you know, what do you want to know, and what did you learn?
• Collect: Start collecting things during a neighborhood walk. Create a museum to display your findings. Create labels and imagine the stories behind what you’ve found. • Gather knowledge: Practice gathering information using a variety of sources – the library, the internet, people etc. Begin to assess reliability of your sources – where is the information coming from, and what might be someone’s agenda etc. • Reflect: Based on your observation, collections and knowledge gathered – reflect on your experience. Draw some conclusions, ask more questions and begin to form your own ideas about your central question or inquiry.
Math & Science Connect: This is a great opportunity to connect math and science learning goals with real-world applications and contexts. You can ask students for instance to predict 25, 50, 100 year storm and weather conditions, and water levels; you can chart data from the weather station; conduct science experiments with different weather stations around the school and more!
ecoartspace presents Eve Mosher's HighWaterLine ACTION GUIDE, the first in a series of ten art and ecology learning guides presenting replic...