Activities and Examples: Using Data in the Classroom Today

This collection contains links to on-line activites for teaching STEM concepts with data of all types and examples that describe ways in which on-line, published, and student-collected data are currently used in teaching and learning.

This collection includes both data activities identified from across the web as well as a local example collection.

The initial example collection was created in collaboration with the Geological Society of America where the examples were given in a poster session "Using Data to Teach Earth Processes: An Illustrated Community Discussion" sponsored by the NAGT On the Cutting Edge program. We invite you to contribute additional examples in any of the STEM disciplines.

Each example includes a description of the activity, its learning goals, the context in which it is used, information on the needed data, tools, and activities and suggestions for evaluation.


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The Modern Atmospheric CO2 Record part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students compare carbon dioxide (CO2) data from Mauna Loa Observatory, Barrow (Alaska), and the South Pole over the past 40 years to help them better understand what controls atmospheric CO2. -

Searching Genbank part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
An active problem-based assignment that uses the Genbank database to teach the basics of molecular biology and molecular evolution

Plant Pest Control part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
This learning experience introduces participants to scientific inquiry, hypothesis formation, experimental design, data analysis, and interpretation.

Monohybrid Fruit Fly Crosses: A Simulation part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
This assignment uses a computer simulation of fruit fly genetics to have students design and interpret monohybrid crosses of a trait with simple dominant and recessive alleles. Detailed instructions with animated examples, background material, a sample report and a rubric are included.

Writing a Wikipedia Genetic Disease Article part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
Writing a Wikipedia article about a genetic disease is a good culminating activity for a genetics course or module, as it requires synthesizing and interpreting a wide range of genetic information. This assignment also includes a potential service component, which is normally very difficult in genetics.

Long Term Ecological Resources part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students analyze data on temperature and precipitation collected from 26 different Long Term Ecological Research sites and compare them with annual net primary productivity. The students then form an ecological rule to explain their results.

Phenylketonuira part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
In this activity, students are assigned different alleles of the gene for phenylalanine hydroxylase to research using OMIM (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man). They are then asked to both explain and illustrate how this mutation may cause the disease phenylketonuria (PKU).

Protein Evolution part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
In this activity students explore the evolution of proteins by comparing 2D and 3D alignments of orthologs and paralogs.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: What's in Your Woods? part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Whats in Your Woods?
DATA: Forest Inventory Growth and Analysis data, TOOLS: Spreadsheet, My World GIS - Investigate forest biodiversity in Maine and consider the environmental factors that contribute to tree species diversity.

Visualizing Carbon Pathways part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Carbon
DATA: NASA Satellite Images TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Build animations of satellite data to illustrate and explore carbon pathways through the Earth system.

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