Invasive Species: Integrating Science and Art with iMovie

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I need your help! Please consider donating to my classroom on DonorsChoose.org —  To read more about my class, my students, and their project, check out the information below:

My students need 5 iPads with the iMovie app to research local invasive plant species and create engaging documentary movies to increase public awareness.

My Students

Science instruction in today’s schools should connect students with the scientific community and natural world beyond the classroom walls. Unfortunately, with limited access to technology both in school and at home, my students are missing out on how science is done in the real world.

I work in a low-income, urban school where 99.9% of the population is eligible for free and reduced-price lunches.

Despite these hardships, my students value their education and their classroom experiences. They are engaged by hands-on learning and are fascinated by the outdoors — students were amazed by all the creek critters we found when we had the opportunity to work with a local college doing macroinvertebrate sampling in a nearby stream. They want to do well in school and gain the skills they will need to succeed in today’s world, and they are incredibly motivated by opportunities to interact with technology and scientific tools. Despite their limited opportunities to access many of these tools, they are tech savvy and learn new applications quickly. Additional access to classroom technology would provide motivation and engagement for my students.

My Project

My students will be working with PA Sea Grant and the Weed Warriors program to investigate invasive plant species using the iPads. They will develop proposals to check the spread of these species and present these proposals to the community through our local EnvironmentErie organization – reaching out to other environmental organizations and our state park managers. Then, they will use iMovie to create educational documentaries/public service announcements about these invasive species and what we can do to address the problem. This project integrates science, technology, and art – engaging students with a broad variety of interests and requiring the use of critical thinking and 21st century skills.

The addition of iPads to my classroom would allow my students to become knowledge seekers.

They could search for and evaluate their own sources of information, instead of simply using the resources and texts I provide them. They would develop greater critical thinking and analysis skills, and they could then use the iPads to communicate their own findings and ideas. This technology would connect them to the most recent research and ideas and bring their classroom learning to the real world.

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