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inexpensive science

This category contains 13 posts

Measuring Velocity… Using WHAT!?

With the rapidly approaching spring melt, we are getting our classrooms out into the river as much as possible. Last Wednesday our 4th-6th graders from Española braved chilly temperatures to collect some data on the Rio Chama below Abiquiu Dam. In our last session our students learned a new equation: D=RT (distance = rate × … Continue reading

Watersheds and Erosion in Tierra Amarilla

In River Classroom we love to be outside. If we can’t be outside, we love to make a mess while we learn inside. At our last session, we did just that! We broke into two groups to complete two different activities- one on watersheds and one on erosion. Our watershed activity began with a discussion … Continue reading

An Action Packed Day of Learning on the Rio Chama

In order to be a good scientist, it’s crucial to understand the difference between subjective and objective observations. And what better way to learn the distinction than going on a nature hike? Since it was a cold winter morning, we spent the first part of it warming up by walking along the Rio Chama with Miss … Continue reading

Learning Latitude and Longitude

As we discussed last week, it’s very important for scientists to tag the data they collect with the exact location at which it was collected. We do this with a GPS unit. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. This system uses a network of satellites to pin down an exact location. In order to understand … Continue reading

We’ve Got the World on a String

When you start mentioning “GPS,” most people seem to think about the app on their phone that gives directions to an address or a restaurant. As scientists, we use a slightly different sort of GPS that allows us to find our specific latitude and longitude. Marking our scientific data with an exact location is very … Continue reading

Atoms, Elements, and Molecules OH MY!

Atoms are the building blocks of everything– that was the main theme of our last River Classroom for our 4th-6th graders from Española. Our students learned that atoms are the foundation for everything in the world and that the periodic table is THE tool to use for exploring these atoms. At the beginning of class, … Continue reading

What’s in a Watershed?

One of the benefits of teaching River Classroom at so many schools along the Rio Chama is that we can provide a more in depth analysis of the river as a whole. While we typically take our students to one particular location on the river, we often discuss our water quality/benthic macroinvertebrate survey results from … Continue reading

Chemistry Time in Chama

Chemistry is one of our very favorite subjects. A basic grasp of Chemistry is necessary to understand water quality measurements, which are a keystone of River Classroom. This week we introduced our students at Chama Elementary to some basic elements of Chemistry. We began by taking a good look at the periodic table and defining … Continue reading

Reviewing in Tierra Amarilla

It’s almost Christmas Break, and that means it’s time to review everything we’ve learned over the last several months! This time during our trip to Tierra Amarilla, we reviewed past topics and learned a little about water. We began with a brief discussion of the upcoming solstice and what it means as far as hours … Continue reading

Tracking Across Campus

Yesterday was a prep day for a really cool field trip we have in the works for McCurdy Charter School’s 7th grade. The students practiced their tracking skills on campus! First, we held a short discussion about tracking. What kind of questions are we wanting to answer? Well, we would like to know what kind … Continue reading