Community Resources for Science (CRS) coordinates the MASERS (Math, Science, and Engineering Resource Support) at Piedmont Middle School under the larger CRS-run BASIS program which brings trained scientists and engineers into local classrooms to do exciting real-world, hands-on science and engineering with students.
For the 2012-13 academic year, CRS will coordinate one presentation per grade level in the Fall Semester, and one presentation per grade level in the Spring Semester. Every student in a given grade participates in the presentations during their regularly scheduled science class.
Objective of the lesson: To teach students about the study of community ecology, and how changes in one part of a community affect other parts of the community. The key concepts to understand are the use of species richness and species abundance as measures of biodiversity, and the difference between direct and indirect human impacts on ecosystems.
Students engage in a series of activities simulating predator and prey in “normal” and “impacted” ecosystems to build understanding of prey abundance, species diversity, and human impacts on animal food webs.
"I really liked how everyone in the lab got the opportunity to be involved in such a fun and interesting activity-thanks so much!" -6th grade PMS student
"I really enjoyed working with the scientists and I feel like I really learned, it was fun and interesting!" -6th grade PMS student
"The best part was trying the experiment for real instead of doing a worksheet or reading from a book-they should continue doing presentations because they are fun and the scientists are good at it!" -6th grade PMS student
Objective of the lesson: To introduce students to the human brain, including discussion of the specific regions and anatomical features of the brain and their role in human function.
Lesson includes students working in small groups to examine actual human brains.
"The best part was that there were interactive activities at each station that helped us understand the information - I thought the presentations were terrific!" -7th grade PMS student
"The scientists were really cool! I learned something new and got to hold a brain!!" -7th grade PMS student
Students explore the nature, composition, and influence of the electrified wind given off by the sun (known as solar wind). Activities include exploration of magnetic fields and designing a method for measuring the magnetic field of solar winds.
"Wow! That was actually cool and I learned something new!" -8th grade PMS student
"I feel really great about bringing this caliber of scientist into my classroom to work with my students." -8th grade PMS student
"I liked that we got to do a hands on activity that helped us learn about something new." -8th grade PMS student
Every 6th grade class at Willard Middle School in Berkeley will participate in two MASERS (BASIS) scientist led lesson presentations again in 2012-13. The fall semester included the Clipfish: Animal Food Webs lesson for two classes. In January each of the 6 classes participated in an extended presentation on vision and visual perception. In an exciting development, we partnered with a local arts organization, Kala Arts, who are developing a follow-up art activity that will build on the scientific concepts explored in the MASERS presentation and allow students to synthesize their science learning through an art project.