Celeste Best

Oyster River High School
Durham, NH

Project Description:

Best’s innovative teaching idea, “Turning Students Into Citizen Scientists”, is an ecology-based field study that will allow students to assess the health and evolution of ecosystems while learning how to design and conduct accurate field research. The ninth-grade students will learn how to observe, document and evaluate the health of three different ecosystems located in the Stolworthy Wildlife Sanctuary. The scientific goal of the project is for students to develop an understanding of how to ask questions about the environment that surrounds them and, through a scientific study, determine the health of that environment, as well as assess possible human impact.  The ecosystems that will be observed are a Northern hardwood forest, a freshwater stream, and an open grass field. Students will examine components of each ecosystem with the use of data collection tools such as Vernier Probeware and photo analysis programs. Students will use Apple iPads to collect data in the field, which will allow them to have accurate field journals, data analysis and photographic documentation. Best, who lives in Barrington, hopes her program will help students gain a keen understanding of the impact they have on local and global environments.