Quick summary: In this lesson, students learn to become citizen scientists by collecting data on the Australian magpie using the ClimateWatch app and website. Students will gain insight into how data from citizen science projects can be used mathematically to impact scientific understanding of big issues, such as climate change.
This lesson is the first in a series of three lessons that will enable students to analyse, visualise and effectively communicate data. The entire unit of work can be downloaded from the following link, Citizen Science – Mathematics – Years 7 & 8.
The lessons in this unit have been developed in partnership with ClimateWatch. ClimateWatch was developed by Earthwatch with the Bureau of Meteorology and The University of Melbourne to understand how changes in temperature and rainfall are affecting the seasonal behaviour of Australia’s plants and animals.
- Students are be able to critically analyse valid methods of data collection
- Students understand how data can impact scientific research and understanding
21st Century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 7 Mathematics
- Identify and investigate issues involving numerical data collected from primary and secondary sources (ACMSP169)
Year 8 Mathematics
- Investigate techniques for collecting data, including census, sampling and observation (ACMSP284)
- Explore the practicalities and implications of obtaining data through sampling using a variety of investigative processes (ACMSP206)
Syllabus outcomes: MA4-1WM, MA4-3WM, MA4-19SP.
General capabilities: Literacy, Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability
Relevant parts of Year 7 achievement standards: Students construct stem-and-leaf plots and dot-plots.
Relevant parts of Year 8 achievement standards: Students choose appropriate language to describe events and experiments. They explain issues related to the collection of data and the effect of outliers on means and medians in that data.
Topics: Biodiversity, climate change, sustainability
Time required: 110 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate class discussions and independent data collection. Teachers will also need to facilitate a brief walk through the school grounds.
Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Enough computers/tablets for groups of 3-4 students to access the ClimateWatch website and app.
Keywords: Earthwatch, ClimateWatch, Data, citizen science, climate change, phenology, biodiversity
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.