A group of scientists is hard at work, collecting and analyzing data on the local growing season. When do flowering plants bloom? When do trees bud out and lose their leaves? How does the timing of these events affect pollinators and people? To answer their questions, the scientists search a database created by researchers from across the country, and compare local and national data. All in a day’s work, and nothing unusual ... until you realize that these scientists are students at Briggs Elementary School in Ashburnham, Massachusetts.
The student scientists are participating in “Show and Tell,” a project funded by Battelle to get students excited about science through authentic research. Battelle announced its inaugural NEON STEM Grant Program this week. The program will fund $100,000 worth of student research around the country. “Show and Tell” is one of five projects that will leverage the open data generated by the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).
NEON, a continental-scale ecological observation facility sponsored by the National Science Foundation and managed and operated by Battelle since 2016, collects long-term ecological data from across the United States to better understand how ecosystems are changing. The open-access comprehensive data, spatial extent and remote sensing technology provided through the NEON program is enabling a large and diverse user community to tackle important questions at scales not accessible to previous generations of ecologists.
The greatest challenge facing students? Making sense of the data and communicating results. Students and teachers will work with two local experts, Harvard Forest ecologist Betsy Colburn and Ashburnham photographer Rebecca Cinclair, as well as AWRSD science teacher Katie Bennett and digital learning coach Tiffany Davis. Fourth- and fifth-grade students will investigate the timing of life cycle events for local plants and trees, and use data from the NEON database to make sense of their schoolyard observations. The project will culminate in an exhibit at the Harvard Forest Fisher Museum in Petersham, MA. Students will use interactive drawings, photographs, time-lapse videos, graphs, data portraits and more to “show and tell” the story of a changing growing season.
For more information, contact Tiffany Davis at (978) 827-1434 or email@example.com.
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.
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For more information contact Katy Delaney at (614) 424-7208 or firstname.lastname@example.org or T.R.