January 1, 2017
Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest
North Woodstock, NH
How can we develop the Waterviz tools to enhance science learning in middle and high schools in New Hampshire?
On January 9, 2017, the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation convened a group of 12 educators and scientists for a focus group to evaluate the Waterviz water cycle visualization and sonification tools for use in formal and informal education settings. Kaari Casey, an informal science educator from the City Parks Foundation, presented teaching materials for Waterviz that she developed during her 2016 Research Experience for Teachers program at Hubbard Brook. Participants worked in pairs to explore both the website and Kaari’s materials, and participants offered feedback to the Waterviz project team during facilitated group discussions.
Overall, participants were excited about the Waterviz products and many were eager to try them out in their classrooms in the near term. The group shared feedback for improving the current tools, especially developing the components available for the “pre-set” events, and improving the navigation of the website. The group also discussed ideas for future “pie-in-the-sky” improvements, such as interactive features where students could manipulate conditions and options for adding human disturbances. Educators suggested that the Waterviz team focus on a 7-8th grade level for the project, which will allow the most flexibility for teachers to ramp up or down depending on their students.