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Physical Science Field Trip - Mountain Exploration

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Physical Science Field Trip - Mountain Exploration

This year I have been teaching both Physical Science and Physics for a small private Christian academy. In May I will be taking both classes on a field trip together. The two classes will be doing different activities during the day. This plan could easily be modified for science classes in other parts of the country/world.

Field Trip – Physical Science Instructions

What to Bring
In addition to the items listed on the previous page, each team is responsible to bring one digital camera. You may also wish to bring other items, such as maps or compasses.

The Competition – Photo Scavenger Hunt
You will be divided into teams, with two students per team. The teams will be competing in a photo scavenger hunt. The winner of the Photo Scavenger Hunt will earn bonus points for the day’s assignment. Some items in the scavenger hunt you might photograph while on the road, other items will be photographed at our three different stops: Coos Canyon, Height of Land, and Bald Mountain.

Photograph any of the following items for points in the scavenger hunt competition
* Identify and photograph up to three different types of weathering (10 points apiece)
* Photograph up to three different examples of erosion (5 points apiece)
* Identify and photograph the following mountains: Mount Washington, Aziscohos Mountain, Saddleback Mountain, Bigelow Mountain, Elephant Mountain, Spotted Mountain. (10 points apiece)
* Identify and photograph the following lakes and ponds: Rangeley Lake, Mooselookmeguntic Lake, Upper Richardson Lake, Cupsuptic Lake, Kennebego Pond (10 points apiece)
* Identify and photograph up to five different kinds of rocks/minerals (5 points apiece)
* Identify and photograph up to five different kinds of trees – please provide one close-up of the bark and one close-up of the leaves for each tree (5 points apiece)
* Photograph an oxbow. (15 points)
* Identify and photograph up to five different kinds of animal wildlife (10 points apiece)

The following items are subjective, and I will choose the best photograph in each category to award points:

* Photograph a place where a rock fall is likely to happen. (10 points)
* Photograph a place where a landslide is likely to happen. (10 points)
* Submit one picture which you consider to be your most scenic picture. (10 points)

Bonus Competition
Don’t be surprised if you find out that there is a BONUS COMPETITION at some point during the day. What will that competition be? Only I, your devious science teacher, know!

The Report
Once the trip is over, each team is responsible to turn in a report (Due date to be announced later). This report will be used to determine which team wins the competition, as well as to determine your grade for the day. The report should contain all of the following:

* One partner will write a ½ page report (double spaced) about one of the three locations we are visiting (Coos Canyon, Height of Land, or Bald Mountain. Please include your name with your report.
* The other partner will write a ½ page report (double spaced) about a different one of the three locations. Please include your name with your report.
* The remainder of your report will be a combination of photographs and text. The text must be in complete sentences. For example: This is Saddleback Mountain as viewed from the summit of Bald Mountain, or This is a place where a landslide is likely to happen, located at Coos Canyon, or This is a yellow birch tree found at Height of Land. Notice that each example includes the place the photograph was taken, and an explanation of what the picture is.
* In some cases, it may be impossible to isolate one item in a photograph; for example, when you take a picture of a lake or a mountain, you may get extra lakes/mountains in your photograph. Be sure to clearly label the photograph, something like this: Cupsuptic Lake is the lake in the lower-left corner of the picture, taken at Bald Mountain. Alternately, you may circle the item and label it as follows: In this picture, taken at Bald Mountain, Cupsuptic Lake is the lake which is circled.

Both team members will receive the same grade on the written report, so I recommend proofreading each others’ work for factual/grammatical/spelling errors.

May 8th Interview
On May 8th when I interview each team, I expect each team to have a plan prepared for how they will accomplish various tasks throughout the day. Specifically, I will want to know how each team plans to identify the various mountains and lakes listed in the Photo Scavenger Hunt. I will ask for a list of items students plan to bring with them to help them accomplish their tasks.

I will also ask to see a rough draft of the ½ page location reports. This rough draft may be handwritten, but it must be essentially complete. Any student who does not have a rough draft will receive a zero grade for the day.

One Final Note
It is possible that, on the day of the field trip, some of my physics students may ask you what your mass is. If they do, it would be helpful if you knew (and were willing to tell them) your mass in kilograms or your weight in pounds.

Field Trip - General Instructions for All Science Students
Both the Physical Science and Physics classes will receive a separate sheet of paper with specific instructions for the activities they will be involved in during the day. This page is general instructions for everyone attending the field trip.

Date: May 18, 2009. Please note that this date is tentative. Depending on the weather, we will do our field trip on the first good weather day that week.

Time: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Where: We will be visiting three interesting geological locations: Coos Canyon in Byron, Maine, Height of Land near Rangeley, Maine, and Bald Mountain in Oquossoc, Maine. We will stop briefly at the first two locations for exploration and observation. The bulk of our day will be spent on Bald Mountain. Students will be eating lunch at the summit of the mountain.

What To Bring:
* comfortable clothing
* comfortable shoes. (Sneakers or hiking shoes are fine, no sandals)
* backpack
* bottled water
* lunch (note: no microwave oven will be provided at the summit)
* insect repellent (optional)

Preparing for the Trip: One of the goals of this trip - for both classes - is to challenge students to take initiative and create their own plan for accomplishing tasks set before them. You will note that no instructions are given for accomplishing any of the day’s tasks. Students who do not plan ahead will not succeed in their projects. On May 8th, during science class, I will be conducting interviews with teams to find out how prepared they are for their projects. This interview will count as a homework grade.

Lesson by Mr. Twitchell

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