Have you ever questioned just how much energy plants absorb from the sun? Do you realize that chicken poop can be used to produce methane? Did you know that a compost pile gets hot enough to cook an egg or that meteorites have shaped the face of the earth?
Down and Dirty Science tackles these questions in a humorous and entertaining fashion while conveying insights into how energy is transferred from plants to other organisms in the food web. Down and Dirty Science is a website containing six student and six teacher multimedia streaming on-demand modules that target Earth and Life Science standards for grades 6 through 9. Each student module focuses on specific key concepts: plants transfer energy to other organism; the energy in biomass can support life; the energy in biomass can be used as a fuel source; meteorite impacts release a great amount of energy and play a major role in planetary evolution; and, ocean currents transport huge amounts of energy between different locations on the Earth.
By presenting content with humor and real world applications, the student modules are designed to stimulate and inculcate higher order thinking skills, innate curiosity, and inquiry-based learning. Intended to be utilized both independently by students with teacher oversight, and as a teaching-learning experience for an entire class, Down and Dirty Science will entice and motivate even the most reluctant students to dig into science content with enthusiasm.
The accompanying teacher modules for each episode of Down and Dirty Science illustrate how the concepts may be taught; expand on the materials in the student video, pointing out subtle points that might be missed or are not brought out in the student video; provide suggestions on how to incorporate the student video into daily classroom instruction; and, make connections to mathematics applications. Another key feature of the teacher modules is the link to curriculum resources. Numerous curriculum links identify multiple web-based resources, which provide educators with further background information on the key concepts and student lessons suggestions for the classroom. Additional features of the teacher modules are the listing of key learning concepts, connections to the standards, and assessment strategies. Down and Dirty Science builds on the notion that we learn science by doing science!