Science and Data Analysis
[ eeps ]
5269 Miles Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618-1044
866.341.3377 voice, 866.879.7797 fax (toll-free)
 
 

The main thrust of the project is to design curriculum materials for high-school science classes that incorporate more data analysis. Of course, students use Fathom or Logger Pro to help them with the math.

So far, this has been really fruitful because traditional materials, even laboratory activities, are weak in data analysis. The trick is to make sure that

  • The data analysis truly supports the concepts in the curriculum.
  • The mathematics is closer to grade-level than typical math-in-science.

Our initial focus has been on physics, though we're devloping prototype activities in as many areas as we can. We have field-tested a few in classrooms in California and Iowa. And we're applying for additional funding to support the development of several potential products.

Here is a paper about a few of the things we have been doing.

Here is the final report from Phase I of our project. This is a pdf file, with lots of information.

Here is a site about the first product, A Den of Inquiry, a collection of 15 data-rich laboratories for introductory physics.

Why You Should Care

If you're a math teacher, because data analysis activities give your students rich contexts in which to practice their mathematics.

If you're a science teacher, because these activities will help your students understand science concepts quantitatively.

If you're concened about equity, because, let's face it, being quantitatively literate in general, and able to work with data analysis in particular, is a gateway that underserved students don't usually get a chance to walk through.

If you're a progressive educator, because data analysis activities do support constructivism and inquiry, but through quantitative settings, where the numbers really matter. That is, it doesn't look like fuzzy math.

If you're a student (or you work on our project), because data analysis activities are so incredibly much fun, and you learn so much doing them.

 
http://www.keypress.com/fathom - Fathom (software) download site
http://dropball.cs.emporia.edu/ - Emporia State drop-ball experiment
http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/ - physics applets
 
 
 

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award Number DMI-0216656. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Last updated 14 February, 2007