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Action Research     17

The physics curriculum I  developed

The Mean Green Team best practices fieldwork included air and water quality in and around Los Angeles during the 2006-2007 school year and as yet to be determined topics for the 2007-2008 school year.  During the first year this group tested local streams, rivers, and beaches for water quality parameters that included nitrites, nitrates, dissolved carbon dioxide, pH, dissolved iron, temperature, and turbidity.  They tested indoor and outdoor air quality as well.  Field locations included Eaton Canyon, Playa Del Rey, Rio De Los Angeles State Park, and the Glendale Narrows of the Los Angeles River.  Topics of study and questions investigated were driven by student input and interest.  Community service was a major component of fieldwork as well as investigation for the Mean Green Team.  The work of the Mean Green Team can be found at http://www.csun.edu/~aes15831/extracurriculars/mean_green_team/index.html.

The best practices fieldwork reports used in oceanography and physics were composed based on a lab report I took from another teacher’s website and a rubric I composed myself. Students followed a best practices fieldwork report with an oral presentation of findings in a whole class or small group setting.  They also wrote and posted their conclusions on the class newsgroup at www.nicenet.org.  Best practices fieldwork of the Mean Green Team involved the fieldwork reports previously mentioned as well as poster board presentations and videos cataloguing work completed.

Measuring devices for the research questions were as follows:

Does best practices fieldwork increase student achievement in the secondary science classroom?

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