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Climate of learning or BRAIN WASHING?

Fifth-graders study science by watching weather patterns

By Rob Rogers, Record Searchlight March 6, 2006

Terri Lhuillier squinted out the window. There wasn't a cloud in the sky.

Terri L"We like to see some clouds because we have fun identifying them," she said.

The balmy conditions didn't stop her and five of her fifth-grade science students from walking outside Evergreen Charter School one day last month to record weather data. The school meets in the Redding Masonic Lodge and has a weather station in front of the building.

Clutching a laminated card with photo illustrations of weather patterns and a clipboard with fill-in-the-blanks weather reports and pencils, the students first checked the digital thermometer. Sitting in a white, wooden box that resembles a large birdhouse, the thermometer records in Celsius the daily high and low temperatures.

Justin Smallwood and Tyler Travis huddled around the gauge, one boy reading the numbers for the past several days, the other writing them down.

Three classmates -- Jessica Eardley, Holly Beverly and Jessica Nachtwey -- listened to the temperature report and started on the next task, taking observations of the sky. The two boys soon joined them.

"No clouds," Tyler pointed out. But the sky was streaked with five or six contrails, the last one growing as they watched, trailing the silver spark of a jet traveling north.

The students studied them, noting whether they were "short-lived" -- dissipating quickly into the atmosphere -- or "long-lasting" -- "persistent" and "nonspreading."

"That one's really thick," Jessica Eardley said, pointing directly overhead.

It had rained the previous weekend and the students had taken rainfall measurements. But it didn't seem to matter that the mild weather gave them a little less to do.

It was not so much the weather that got the students excited, but simply the chance to get outside and actively participate in real science. It certainly beat having to learn about weather out of a textbook.

"We get to go out every day," Holly said. "

(We) go outside and have fun," Jessica Eardley added.

"The kids eat it up," Lhuillier said.

Weather and climate is a required science standard for fifth grade. But Lhuillier has taken it one step further. The observations and data recorded by her and her students are part of the GLOBE Program ( the National Dis-information group covering up the aerosol injections aka Chemtrails), an international environmental science and education partnership run by NASA and the National Science Foundation (Nation wide brain washing project to lie to our childern in the name of sicence) .

Once Lhuillier's students have recorded data about the day's weather, they go to GLOBE's Web site and input the information. More than 17,000 schools participate in GLOBE across 109 countries, so the data recorded on the site quickly adds up to show worldwide weather and climate trends

Through the Web site, the students also interact with scientists, posing questions and seeking assistance. The students come away feeling that they're contributing legitimate data and participating in "real science," Lhuillier said. "

(The scientists) need people on the ground," she said. "They want people looking up."

Evergreen is the only school in the Redding area that participates in GLOBE. Lhuillier said she would like to see that change. She thinks her students would benefit from linking with other local fifth-graders and comparing weather notes from other parts of the city.

GLOBE makes classroom science understandable, relevant and enjoyable, Lhuillier said. Because of that, the students don't mind that they're learning.

"We can identify clouds and pH" levels in rainwater, Tyler said.

Over the next few months, the students will begin measuring barometric pressure and humidity. They also will examine soil and, Lhuillier hopes, hike to Sulfur Creek to observe natural water systems. By the end of the school year, the students will be making weather predictions based on the patterns they've seen and the data they've collected.

"I'm really excited about that," she said.

For Lhuillier, getting her students interested in science is just a starting point. Using outside activities and communicating with real scientists has helped her students learn the scientific process better, notice their surroundings in more detail and retain information they're being taught.

"It's making them look around," she said.

Lhuillier thinks the more she does with her students, the more they will learn to love science. "That's really my mission -- to get kids turned onto science," she said.

Reporter Rob Rogers can be reached at 225-8217 or at rrogers@redding.com. Comment (0) | Trackback (0) Copyright 2006, Redding. All Rights Reserved.

 

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