In our science classes, our 8th-grade students have been given the challenge to accurately collect rain in Panama for two weeks at a time. Given the thunderstorms each afternoon, what perfect timing!
Students were tasked with designing a prototype of a rain gauge and have been following the engineering design process to make changes to more accurately collect their data. On Thursday and Friday, students showed off their second rain gauge prototype and made small adjustments in order to make them more accurate and reliable.
When asked to explain their rationale for the various adjustments, our young scientists articulately used scientific vocabulary and made connections to their learning from previous years. A few examples of student approaches were:
“The issue was that the gauge was not calibrated correctly. I need to get our measuring cup and make sure we calibrate it right this time!”
- Isabel Arias (8th Grade)
“We used white paint in an effort to reflect the sun and prevent evaporation. If the water evaporates, our gauge will not be accurate. We are re-applying a different type of paint that won’t peel off and hope that it will help stop evaporation.”
- Gaby Ometto (8th Grader)