Rowe developed this lesson.
After completing this introductory tutorial,
students will be able to find, retrieve, and work with data from the
Water on the Web offers several unique opportunities
for students learning science. This project allows students to learn and
apply basic science concepts through the use of real water quality data.
Quantitative analysis and the ability to use and manipulate numbers to
understand the world are essential parts of doing science. The WOW project
provides numerical data on several water quality parameters through remotely
controlled sampling devices. Remote Underwater Sampling Stations (RUSS
units) have been placed in several Minnesota lakes. RUSS technology allows
us to sample water quality indicators at specified depths from the surface
to the bottom of the lakes. Numerical data is provided in tables and Excel
spreadsheets where it can be accessed and manipulated by students. Data
visualization tools and water quality resource information is also available
at the WOW website so students can more easily understand and interpret
the data that is provided.
can meet the goals for this lesson by completing a directed study lesson
that is designed as three related tutorials: "Navigating
the WOW Website Tutorial;" "Using
WOW Data with Excel Tutorial;" and "Using
WOW Data Visualization Tools Tutorial." (In the student
section of WOW, links to these tutorials can be found under the "Studying"
menu.) Students will be guided through the WOW website by a series of
directions and questions.
- Identify the major categories of resources
in the WOW website
- Manipulate and graph data using Excel
- Use data visualization tools to understand
changes in water quality parameters.
- Use data visualization tools to create
hypotheses about the dynamics of water quality parameters.
Basic skills in using a web browser such
as Netscape or Internet Explorer are required. Prior experience using
spreadsheet software is recommended.
software recommended for optimal use of this website. If students only
have access to a basic web browser, they can only complete the first
of the tutorials: "Navigating the WOW Website
with more recent versions of browsers that can use Java can also complete
the third tutorial: "Using WOW Data Visualization
Tools Tutorial." (PCs using recent [as of September, 1999]
internet browsers, such as Internet Explorer 4.x or higher, or Netscape
4.06, will be able to use the tools. Macs have to use Internet Explorer
with the Mac OS Runtime for Java [MRJ] 2.1 plug-in added.)
the second tutorial - "Using WOW Data
with Excel Tutorial," students need access to the spreadsheet
program, Excel. The tutorial works best if Excel is used as a plug-in
in the browser.
If you have the Flash plug-in you can use this animated
tutorial to guide students through the use of Excel with WOW.
Students should be able to complete all
three tutorials within two 50-minute class periods.
WOW Curriculum Links
These tutorials prepare students with
the basic WOW website skills needed to complete all other WOW lessons.
All other WOW curriculum lessons follow
a sequenced format of steps in the following order: Knowledge Base,
Experimental Design, Data Collection, Data Management & Analysis,
Interpretation of Data, Reporting Results. As an introductory tutorial
for WOW, this lesson does not follow that format. Instead, students
are provided specific directions and questions in each tutorial. This
guides students in their exploration of the WOW website as a resource
for learning about water quality and Minnesota lakes.
Begin by reminding students that the "Back"
button on their browser will be particularly useful if they find they
have lost track of where they are in the website.
that all students begin by completing the first tutorial: "Navigating
the WOW Website Tutorial." Students have to successfully complete
steps 1-4 of the tutorial in order to be able to answer the questions
A-Q in step 5. If students are going to work in pairs on a computer,
you might recommend they take turns using the keyboard so that both
will learn how to navigate through the site.
tutorial, "Using WOW Data with Excel Tutorial,"
guides students in graphing data from the Excel data spreadsheets. The
weekly Excel spreadsheets are provided in an Excel workbook. The workbook
also includes two templates for helping students create graphs. To complete
this tutorial students will work back and forth between the data tables
and the templates.
tutorial, "Using WOW Data Visualization Tools
Tutorial," introduces students to the WOW tools that will help
them "see" changes in the data. The tools currently available
through WOW are the Profile Plotter and the Color Mapper. This tutorial
will require the least time of any of the three tutorials.
When students are done with their tutorials
they should turn in their work.