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|Project Title: ||Bog Ecosystem|
|School Year: ||2006|
|School - District:||Acton-Boxborough Reg High - Acton-Boxborough|
|Contact Name:||Brian Dempsey|
|Content-Area(s):||Mathematics, Science & Technology|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
Over the course of the year, students researched, planned, and constructed a bog ecosystem on the school's nature trail. Students and teachers, from both elementary schools through the high school now have access to the bog. This unusual ecosystem complements other habitats that students can study on the ABRHS nature trail. Students also wrote a field guide and described several bog plants. This information will be shared with schools on the campus which use the nature trail (Merriam, McCarthy-Town, the Junior and Senior high schools).
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
In this service-learning project, students targeted the ecosystem surrounding the school’s nature trail. They felt by constructing a bog ecosystem, they would complement other habitats for students to observe along the trail. As a result, future projects will be enhanced as a result of the careful planning and design of the project at hand.
|Service Component: |
Six ABRHS students in an alernative education program worked with Tom Tidman, the director of conservation lands in Acton. Tom gave feedback to these students in the Fall while they researched and planned the structure of the wetland. The students constructed the bog during the course of the school year. The SWAP students (School to Work Alternative Program) also worked with local garden stores, including Kennedy's in Acton and Gardern in the Woods in Framingham, to choose appropriate bog plants. Students also wrote a field guide for the use of the elementary schools and junior high.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
Bog plants, such as the carnivorous pitcher plant, have many unusual adaptations that enable them to catch and digest insects. Animals are a source of protein and therefore nitrogen which is often deficient in a bog. These plants will be featured in the bog and described in field guides generated by these students. Themes such as matter cycling, energy transfer, and food webs were studied.
Life Science frameworks:
Living Things and Their Environment (LS13)
Energy and Living Things (LS14, LS15, LS 16)
Changes in Ecosystems Over Time (LS17)
SIS1. Make observations, raise questions, and formulate hypotheses; SIS2. Design and conduct scientific investigations; SIS3. Analyze and interpret results of scientific investigations; SIS4. Communicate and apply the results of scientific investigations
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Students leadership and planning of this project allowed for the creation of future projects along the school’s nature trail, which the students at the school value as a school resource. During the project, students were active participants in their projects, designing, implementing, and reflecting upon their experience.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Students wrote a field guide and described several bog plants. This information will be shared with schools on the campus which use the nature trail (Merriam, McCarthy-Town, the Junior and Senior high schools).
|Community Partners Involved: |
Merriam, McCarthy-Town, the Junior and Senior high schools (schools on the campus using the nature trail), local garden stores, including Kennedy's in Acton and Gardern in the Woods in Framingham
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
Photos were taken of students standing beside the bog. Other celabratory methods for this project could have included an end of the year scinece fair or dinner to recognize student efforts and learning experience over the course of the year. This is important for others to gain awareness of the hard work and knowledge gained.
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
Students gave a five minute presentation on a bog plant. Faculty involved with this project might have initiated group discussions in class on the impact of their project. Also, to measure the impact of their project, students and faculty might have surveyed students using the field guide created to see if it achieved its desired purpose.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
A complex and time consuming project. We solved this problem by breaking-up work into the research, planning, and construction of the abiotic components in the Fall, and later the purchasing of plants and construction of the biotic part in the Spring.
* NOTE: This project summary was written by the district/community. Any text in italics was added or modified by the Department (ESE). Most of these projects were supported with Learn & Serve America funds distributed through the ESE.