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Keeping a Field Notebook *In addition to original content, this presentation shares information about science notebook strategies and lessons learned from.

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Presentation on theme: "Keeping a Field Notebook *In addition to original content, this presentation shares information about science notebook strategies and lessons learned from."— Presentation transcript:

1 Keeping a Field Notebook *In addition to original content, this presentation shares information about science notebook strategies and lessons learned from school districts in: the Washington State LASER Alliances, El Centro and Pasadena, CA and Gilbert, AZ. Also adapted from presentation by Chris Bergmann of the Poudre School District in Fort Collins, CO*

2 Why Do Researchers Keep a Notebook? Researchers of any age need to keep track of their activities. They need a place to record their observations and questions; to reflect on their experiences; to record the data from their investigations and from other information sources. Maintaining an organized record is a way to look back, revise, and plan for the next steps.

3 What is a field notebook? A field notebook: a notebook used by a researcher to take notes while out in the field – Note: ‘the field’ can be anywhere outside of the class or laboratory (usually means somewhere outdoors, but in our case will be around the school) The goal of the notebook – to create a complete record which provides accurate and useful information about what was done or observed while in the field

4 Why do WE need a notebook? Will be designing and carrying out your own experiment in the coming weeks! Your field notebook will… – Keep all of your research in one spot – Help keep you organized – Let’s you express your ideas/thoughts – Shows mistakes (which is good!) – Let’s you practice science writing, which is very different than English writing

5 Examples of Scientists’ Notebooks The following slides show real notebooks from scientists who work at Battelle – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. Watch carefully as important parts to a scientist’s notebook are shared.

6 “Something wrong with this” Computational Chemist “will have all of these checked for instability and optimize”

7 Materials Scientist Reference graphs and tables pasted into notebook Sample sketch Results (crossed out)

8 Ecologist Describing the problem – the purpose of the study Specifications regarding the Elk Enclosures

9 Guess who’s field notebooks these are…

10 My Field Notebooks!

11 Why are they Important? From Galileo to scientists working on cloning, notebooks have been used to document scientific discovery. Without documenting experimental design, findings, etc. science cannot progress *Writing is one of the best ways to learn in science

12 Class Discussion What are some of the things you saw happening in the scientists’ notebooks from the previous slides? – Write down at least 3 Which of those things do you think you might incorporate in YOUR notebook? – Write down at least 2

13 How to be Organized When making entries in your notebook, follow these guidelines: 1. Write the entry immediately after the work was performed. 2. Write the date of each new entry at the top of every page. 3. Title each new section clearly and add it to the Table of Contents. 4. Write legibly and in clear, understandable language. 5. Use the active voice in the first person when making an entry so it clearly indicates who did the work. Your experimental entries should read like a story. 6. Illustrate as necessary. A picture can be worth a thousand words! 7. Record everything - no detail is insignificant. 8. Title, label, and date all graphs and tables. 9. Include print-outs, photographs, etc. into notebook if you use them. These can be taped, stapled or pasted into it, but no loose-leaf papers! 10. Never erase an entry from your notebook. What you think is “a goof” may later turn out to be to be a great asset!

14 Let’s get started setting up your field notebooks! Take out your notebooks Write a title on the cover Write your name and the year on the cover

15 Table Of Contents Use the first 3 pages for the Table of Contents DATE Title of Section PAGE #

16 1. Number your pages (1-xx) 12 Date: 2. Save a spot at the top of the page for the date that you record something (an experiment, observation, background research, etc.)

17 You’re ready to start your field notebook!


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