SCIENCE OF GOLF: Water Conservation - STEM Lesson Plan (Grades 6-12) Print

Objective:

Students will investigate questions about water conservation methods, including golf course design and irrigation techniques, that can minimize water use on golf courses.


Introduction Notes:

Science of GOLF

Water Conservation

STEM Lesson Plan adaptable for Grades 6–12

Lesson plans produced by the National Science Teachers Association.

Video produced by NBC Learn in partnership with the USGA and Chevron.

 

Background and Planning Information............................................................ 2

About the Video........................................................................................................................... 2

Video Timeline ............................................................................................................................ 2

Next Generation Science Standards............................................................................................ 2

 

Promote STEM with Video............................................................................. 3

Connect to Science...................................................................................................................... 3

Connect to Technology................................................................................................................ 4

Connect to Engineering............................................................................................................... 4

Connect to Math.......................................................................................................................... 5

 

Facilitate SCIENCE Inquiry.............................................................................. 6

Explore Understanding................................................................................................................ 6

Ask Beginning Questions............................................................................................................. 7

Design Investigations................................................................................................................... 7

            Open Choice Approach.................................................................................................... 8

            Focused Approach............................................................................................................ 8

            Media Research Option................................................................................................. 10

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence........................................................................................... 10

Compare Findings...................................................................................................................... 10

Reflect on Learning................................................................................................................... 11

Inquiry Assessment.................................................................................................................... 11

 

Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan...................................................... 11

Integrate Video in Instruction.................................................................................................... 11

            Visualize Concepts......................................................................................................... 11

            Homework..................................................................................................................... 11

            Using the 5E Approach.................................................................................................. 11

Connect to Social Studies........................................................................................................... 12

Connect to Economics............................................................................................................... 12

Use Video as a Writing Prompt................................................................................................. 12

 

Copy Masters .............................................................................................. 13

Open Choice Approach.............................................................................................................. 13

Focused Inquiry Approach......................................................................................................... 14

Assessment Rubric for Inquiry Investigations............................................................................ 16

 

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Background and Planning Information

 

About the Video

This video discusses water usage and conservation related to maintaining turfgrass on golf courses. It features Kimberly Erusha, the managing director of the Green Section at the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Jim Moore, a scientist on her team. Their goal is to educate golf course superintendents on water conservation methods for their courses. The video focuses on three methods of water conservation: rainwater capture and use; turfgrass selection; and high-tech probe systems to detect soil moisture levels, temperature, salinity, and evapotranspiration. All of these methods are examples of how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are used to customize irrigation systems and minimize the amount of water used, while still maintaining healthy turfgrass.

 

Video Timeline

0:00     0:14     Series opening

0:15     0:42     Overview of water conservation’s role in golf course management

0:43     1:15     Introduction of Kimberly Erusha of The Green Section and description of its role

1:16     1:47     Maximize the use of natural rainfall with lakes and ponds

1:48     2:26     Development of new varieties of turfgrass and reduction of turfgrass overall

2:27     2:53     High tech tools such as soil moisture sensors

2:54     3:15     Describing how sensor data is used

3:16     3:47     How course managers use data to customize watering needs

3:48     4:41     The role of evapotranspiration in determining water use

4:42     4:57     Summary

4:58     5:16     Closing credits

 

Language Support: To aid those with limited English proficiency or others who need help focusing on the video, click the Transcript tab on the side of the video window, then copy and paste the text into a document for student reference.

 

Next Generation Science Standards

Consider the investigation described in the Facilitate SCIENCE Inquiry section as part of a summative assessment for the following performance expectations. Refer to a NGSS document for connected Common Core State Standards for ELA/Literacy and Mathematics.

Earth’s Systems

MS-ESS2-4. Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.

HS-ESS2-5. Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.

Human Impact

MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

HS-ESS3-1.Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.

HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.

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Engineering

MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

MS-ETS1-3.Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

HS-ETS1-1.Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.

 

 

 

Promote STEM with Video

 

Connect to Science

Science concepts described in this video include evaporation, transpiration, and precipitation – all part of the recycling of Earth’s water. Understanding how water cycles, and the water needs of plants, is key to planning a water conservation strategy.  Also embedded in the lesson are the ideas of plant adaptations and physiology. The second conservation strategy discussed is the selection of turfgrasses for their water conservation traits. Plants have specialized characteristics, particularly suited to their environment, that enable them to conserve water. Finally, the video discusses the role of measurement in water conservation – that is, ensuring through measurement that the irrigation system delivers the right amount of water to the plant to help it thrive, without overwatering.

 

Related Science Concepts

         precipitation

         evaporation

         transpiration

         water (or hydrologic) cycle

         plant adaptations

         plant physiology

         photosynthesis

         measurement

         salinity

 

Take Action with Students

         Use the video as a springboard to have students describe the path that water takes in a closed loop through the water cycle, related to the golf course. Students should discuss water delivery (like precipitation and irrigation), water use by plants, transpiration through their leaves, and evaporation to the atmosphere. They might also discuss alternate pathways that do not involve plant life, such as waste via runoff or capture for reuse in lakes, ponds and wells, as is described in the video.

 

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         Use reports from USGA-sponsored research to show students how STEM subjects underpin studies on a topic such as water conservation. You can find them at USGA’s Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online at http://usgatero.msu.edu/tero_browse.html. While you might browse through to find one that particularly interests you or is more suitable to your local area, the report titled “Water-use efficiency and carbon sequestration influenced by turfgrass species and management practices” is typical of the reports you will find. Project them for the class, or direct small groups to choose reports and give short presentations to the class on how the data justify the reports’ conclusions.

         Soil salinity is very important in the selection of turfgrasses and the irrigation process. Irrigation over prolonged spans of time can cause the accumulation of salts in the soil (especially areas with hard water). Have students do research to find out more about the impact of salt on plant species and how it can be minimized. Students might begin their research at a site such as The Morton Arboretum at http://www.mortonarb.org/tree-plant-advice/article/845/salt-tolerant-trees-and-shrubs.html or Colorado State University at http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07227.html.

 

Connect to Technology

The video highlights technology used to minimize the amount of water used to keep the golf course turfgrass healthy. Probe systems and hand-held probes are used to measure soil characteristics, such as temperature, moisture, and salinity. The data can be directly uploaded to an automated irrigation system designed to deliver just the right amount of water to the plant life present on the golf course.

 

Take Action with Students

         Show the portion of the video, 2:27 to 3:47,  that discusses the probe systems and the measurements taken. Have students discuss what types of data are collected through the probe system. There is much emphasis on the function of the probe system to reduce the amount of water used to irrigate the golf course. What other types of measurements might be taken to increase water conservation – not just in the amount of irrigation delivered, but also in the other methods discussed in the video: plant selection and water capture? What types of technology could assist in deciding which types of plants will conserve water in a particular area, or where and how water collection might take place?

         Have any students with home irrigation systems find out more about how these systems work, and what features they have that conserve water. For example, some systems have built-in moisture sensors so that the sprinkler doesn’t operate when it is raining and so on. This topic can also be researched on the Internet.

 

Connect to Engineering

The engineering design process uses human ingenuity to draw from different disciplines like science, math, and technology to solve a problem. In this case, the problem was excessive water use and potential waste in golf course irrigation. Scientists and managers used technology and their understanding of how plants use water, and how water moves around in the environment, to design irrigation systems that used less water, while making the most out of the water that is used by collecting it and delivering it to the right places.

 

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Take Action with Students

         Golf courses are only one type of environment where water scarcity is a problem to be addressed. Have students think of other places where water scarcity or water waste might be an issue. Ask them to consider the technological tools and other methods described in the video and think about how they might be used to address water issues in other places. Examples might include agricultural operations such as farms, or drinking water, or landscaping needs in arid environments. How can the methods applied to golf courses be leveraged in these environments as well? Have students devise a plan for water management in the type of environment they choose.

 

Connect to Math

While the video discusses in greater detail the technology involved in determining the amount of irrigation water that is applied to golf course turfgrass, math calculations underlie the technology that delivers the data.  Irrigation water is determined by measuring the amount of water coming into the system and the amount of water going out of the system, and comparing those amounts to the amount of water required by the system. Scientists and managers can use these numbers even without the technology to calculate how much water to apply.

 

Take Action with Students

Students might calculate costs involved in irrigation of a large expanse of turfgrass, such as a one-acre golf course fairway or huge lawn, using data such as that in the following tables, which represents College Station, Texas. Have students make comparisons between water use by warm season grasses and cool season grasses.

1.      Guide them to calculate the total annual water deficit for each type of grass (or the amount of water, in inches, that needs to be made up), based on how much rainwater is lost to evapotranspiration and runoff, using an equation such as the following:

 

Water deficit (in.) = Evapotranspiration – (Rainfall – Runoff)

 

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2.      Students could then calculate the water requirement, in inches, and convert it to gallons using the equations and information below. This is the amount of water that will be applied through irrigation.

 

Water requirement (in.) = .70 (Water deficit)

 

Water requirement (gal.) = Water requirement (in.) x number of acres x 27,152 gal / inch-acre

 

3.      Finally, students could calculate the cost of irrigation for each type of grass, based on the cost of water in your local area.

 

(Reference: Aggie Horticulture—Water Management on Turfgrasses

 http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons./turf/publications/water.html)

 

 

Facilitate SCIENCE Inquiry

Encourage inquiry using a strategy modeled on the research-based science writing heuristic. Student work will vary in complexity and depth depending on grade level, prior knowledge, and creativity. Use the prompts liberally to encourage thought and discussion. Student Copy Masters begin on page 13.

 

Explore Understanding

Show students a series of images of golf courses such as those in the following list to introduce the video, Science of Golf (SOG): Water Conservation. Encourage students to notice the differences between the natural environment and the golf course environment. They should notice differences in color, composition, plant types, plant cover, plant variety, and so on. Then, encourage them to discuss how water plays a role in the differences. Ask: What might a golf course manager need to know about the natural environment in order to create a golf course environment like the one depicted?

Possible photos:

Near Lajitas, Texas, courtesy of TranceMist: http://www.flickr.com/photos/trancemist/7223938036/in/set-72157629770853168/

Near Scottsdale, Arizona, courtesy of azglenn: http://www.flickr.com/photos/azglenn/2552335407/in/set-72157603818466236/

Near Boulder City, Nevada, courtesy of Ryan Taylor:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryantaylorphotography/6919712307/in/pool-88234366@N00/

Near Honolulu, Hawaii, courtesy of Daniel Ramirez: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danramarch/2878925662/in/pool-599679@N20/

Near Dunkeld, Scotland, courtesy of SwaloPhoto: http://www.flickr.com/photos/swalophoto/4921036386/in/set-72157622801946u278/

Near Elkhorn Woods, Oregon, courtesy of Travel Salem: http://www.flickr.com/photos/travelsalem/5794231806/in/set-72157626876901420/

 

 

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Use the prompts below to spark students' thinking about the environmental contrast.

         The plants in the golf course environment are….

         The plants in the natural environment are….

         Water is important to golf course management, because….

         The amount of water used to maintain each environment is different, because….

         In order to maintain a golf course like the one in the image, the manager would need to know….

 

Show the video SOG: Water Conservation. Continue the discussion of water conservation in golf course design, with prompts such as the following:

         When I watched the video, I thought about….

         According to the video, designers can minimize water usage by….

         It is important to know the natural environment’s rainfall, because….

         Grass choice is important to a golf course because….

         Some types of technology used to conserve water on golf courses are….

 

Ask Beginning Questions

Stimulate small-group discussion with the prompt: This video makes me think about these questions…. Then have groups list questions they have about the challenges associated with maintaining the function of a golf course, while minimizing the amount of water used to do it. Ask groups to choose one question and phrase it in such a way as to be researchable and/or testable. The following are some examples.

         What effect do ponds and lakes have on water conservation for a golf course?

         What effect does plant choice have on water conservation in a golf course?

         How is water conservation measured for a golf course?

         How can we measure how much water is used, compared to how much water is applied to a golf course fairway?

         What effect does a course’s topography have on its ability to conserve water?

         What effect does turfgrass have on playing surface and water runoff?

         How do the turfgrass playing surface and the amount of water retained by the turfgrass relate to each other?

 

Design Investigations

Choose one of the following options based on your students’ knowledge, creativity, and ability level and your available materials. Actual materials needed would vary greatly based on these factors as well.

Possible Materials: Allow time for students to examine and manipulate the materials available. Doing so often aids students in refining their questions or prompts new ones that should be recorded for future investigation. In this inquiry, students will design a model of a fairway, so they might use materials such as foam or plastic cups, “turf” materials, such as felt, indoor/outdoor carpet pieces, terrycloth or t-shirt material, a substrate surface such as cardboard or plastic, and a tub to construct it in that can catch water. They will also need a scale or a beaker to measure the amount of “run off” water or the volume retained. They will need golf balls or something similar to test the impact of the turf’s texture on the roll of the ball.

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Safety Considerations To augment your own safety procedures, see NSTA’s Safety Portal at http://www.nsta.org/portals/safety.aspx.

 

Open Choice Approach (Copy Master page 13)

Groups might come together to agree on one question for which they will explore the answer, or each group might explore something different. Students should brainstorm to form a plan to follow in order to answer the question, which might include researching background information. Work with students to develop safe procedures that control variables and enable them to gather valid data. Encourage students with prompts such as the following:

         Information we need to understand before we can start our investigation is….

         The variables in the design of a golf course are….

         The potential variable(s) we want to hold constant is (are)….

         To measure the effects of pond size and shape on the amount of water conserved, we will….

         To measure the effect of turf characteristics on water conservation, we will….

         To compare the effects of turfgrass choice on water retention vs. playing surface, we will….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

Focused Approach (Copy Master pages 14–15)

The following exemplifies how students could compare the water retention capabilities and the playing surface characteristics of two simulated turfgrass textures by measuring (a) the amount of water that runs off of the playing surface, and (b) the distance that a golf ball will roll across it. By doing this, students can consider what a good balance might be between these two desirable qualities. Students will build one fairway with t-shirt material as the turfgrass, and one with terrycloth as the turfgrass.

 

1.      After students examine the materials you have available to design a golf course fairway with different types of turfgrass, ask them questions such as the following to help them envision their investigation:

         How are these materials like and not like turfgrass?

         What characteristics of a golf course, other than turfgrass, might affect the amount of water retained?

         What turfgrass characteristics might retain water better than others?

         What turfgrass characteristics are desirable for a better playing surface?

         How will we ensure that all other golf course characteristics are identical?

         How will we know which type of turfgrass retained more water?

         How will we measure the smoothness of the playing surface?

         What are some sources of error in measuring the amount of water retained?

 

2.      Students will then design their fairways using a substrate, such as a piece of cardboard or plastic, and turfgrass pieces made of two different materials. Students should design the two variations of their fairway by controlling all other characteristics except for the types of turfgrass they use. It might be helpful for the fairways to be built or held at an incline for testing. Students might also weigh their fairways before and after testing.

         How are the fairways we constructed the same?

         How are the fairways we constructed different?

         We will ensure consistent design by….

 

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         We will ensure consistent incline angle by….

         Sources of error in this part of the investigation include….

         To minimize the influence of these sources of error, we will….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

3.      Students might measure the distance that a golf ball will travel across the fairway by applying a force to it to cause it to roll, and then measure the distance for each type of turfgrass material.

         The force we apply to the golf ball represents….

         As the golf ball rolls across the surface it….

         In this example we are holding ____ constant but varying….

         The distance that the golf ball rolls is measured by….

         We ensure the same force is applied to each golf ball by….

         Sources of error in this part of the investigation include….

         To minimize the influence of these sources of error, we will….

 

4.      To test the water retention capabilities of the fairway turfgrass, students might pour a measured amount of water at the top of the fairway and let it run off until no more water movement is visible. Students could measure the amount of water that runs off into a receptacle. Students could then compare the masses to determine the differences in water runoff, to compare the amounts of water each surface retains.

         The water we pour on our fairway represents….

         As the water runs down the fairway it….

         In this example we are holding ____ constant but varying….

         Water is captured on the fairway by….

         Water that runs into the bucket represents….

         We ensure a consistent amount of water is applied to each fairway by….

         Sources of error in this part of the investigation include….

         To minimize the influence of these sources of error, we will….

         The _____ fairway holds more/less/ the same amount of water as the _____ fairway, because….

 

5. Students can then discuss their results.

         We think that turfgrass changes the distance a golf ball will roll on a golf course by….

         The characteristics of turf that tend to lead to a greater rolling distance are _____ because….

         We think that turfgrass changes the amount of moisture retained on a golf course by….

         The characteristics of turf that tend to retain more water are________, because….

         Factors that may affect the reliability of our results are….

 

6. Some students might want to extend their investigation by exploring the effect of other fairway features on water conservation/retention. These characteristics might include incline, other types of vegetation, or ponds and lakes.

 

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Media Research Option

Groups might have questions that are best explored using print media and online resources. Students should brainstorm to form a list of key words and phrases they could use in Internet search engines that might result in resources that will help them answer the question. Review how to safely browse the Web, how to evaluate information on the Internet for accuracy, and how to correctly cite the information found. Suggest students make note of any interesting tangents they find in their research effort for future inquiry. Encourage students with prompts such as the following:

         Words and phrases associated with our question are….

         The reliability of our sources was established by….

         The science and math concepts that underpin a possible solution are….

         Our research might feed into an engineering design solution, such as….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Students should analyze their data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence their data shows. Encourage students with this prompt: As evidenced by… we claim… because….

 

An example claim might be:

As evidenced by the amount of run off water collected from each of the terrycloth and the t-shirt fairways and the distances each golf ball travelled, we claim fairway grasses that retain more water, allow the ball to travel less, because textures that collect more water may be rougher, and therefore, less conducive to longer distance rolling.

 

Compare Findings

Encourage students to compare their ideas with others, such as classmates who investigated a similar question or system or with those who investigated a different question or system, material they found on the Internet, an expert they chose to interview, or their textbooks. Remind students to credit their original sources in their comparisons. Elicit comparisons from students with prompts such as:

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in the video in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

Students might make comparisons like the following:

My ideas are similar to those discussed by experts on the internet, who have done detailed studies of distances golf balls travel across a fairway or green. They also found that smoother turfgrass surfaces lead to greater distances that the ball will travel across the fairway or green.

 

 

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Reflect on Learning

Students should reflect on their understanding, thinking about how their ideas have changed or what they know now that they didn’t before. Encourage reflection, using prompts such as the following:

         The claim made by the expert in the video is….

         I support or refute the expert’s claim because in my investigation….

         When thinking about the expert’s claims, I am confused as to why….

         Another investigation I would like to explore is….

 

Inquiry Assessment

See the rubric included in the student Copy Masters on page 16.

 

 

 

Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan

 

Integrate Video in Instruction

Bellringer:  Show SOG: Water Conservation, focusing on the portion of the video from 2:27 to 2:53 that discusses the high-tech sensors employed by golf course managers to monitor water needs. Have students list any parameters sensors might measure that would be useful in determining: how much water to apply to a golf course fairway; what type of turfgrass to use; or how to maintain ponds or lakes for water retention. Some might be discussed in the video already, but based on what students might know about precipitation, salinity, evaporation, and the water cycle, can they come up with parameters that are not mentioned?

Homework: Have students individually (or as part of small teams) research the water cycle. Students can then create a diagram to represent the water cycle in a golf course environment, tracking how precipitation moves from the atmosphere to the vegetation or other types of land cover, including ponds and lakes; the processes of transpiration and evaporation; and so on. Students can also describe how this cycle differs in arid environments, and in areas with more precipitation. Where is precipitation greater? Where are evaporation and transpiration great? What impact does this have on water management issues?

 

Using the 5E Approach?

If you use a 5E approach to lesson plans, consider incorporating video in these Es:

Explore: Use the Design Investigations section of the Facilitate Inquiry to support your lessons on organism adaptations to their environment. Main concepts should include how plant characteristics can conserve water in arid environments.

Elaborate: Show students SOG: Water Conservation, focusing on the section from 2:54 to 3:15 that discusses how moisture sensors use conductivity to determine how much water and salt is in the soil. Have students research the relationships among conductivity, moisture, and salinity. Students should elaborate on water’s ability to conduct electricity, and the ability of salt ions to conduct electricity in solution.

 

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Connect to … Social Studies

Water conservation is an important issue in many areas of the world where water quality and quantity are both at risk. Water availability is not just a concern for recreational use, as is the case on golf courses, but also for drinking, bathing, and agricultural irrigation for food. In addition to watching the video, have students research other water issues around the world. They should choose one water issue they find interesting. Have students suggest how the water conservation strategies described in the video might be put to work for the water issue they identify.

 

Connect to … Economics

The video discusses several strategies for maximizing water conservation in golf course design, including ponds for water capture, sensors to collect data on the soil, and turfgrass choice. The article A Thirst for Technology, from Golf Inc., found at http://www.environmentalturf.com/articles/thirst_G0607.pdf, discusses several similar strategies, with descriptions of their general associated costs and benefits. After watching the video and reading the article, encourage students to create a cost-benefit table similar to the one below to summarize their understanding of various strategies. Students can describe general costs and benefits, as in the example provided, or if they would like to take a closer look, they can conduct research online to associate monetary costs and benefits for each strategy.

 

Strategy

Costs

Benefits

Retention ponds installed on golf course

-construction costs for digging, lining, turf removal

-maintenance cost for cleanliness, appearance

-water bill savings for using retained water

-potential increased clientele for aesthetic improvements

-aesthetic value for players

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use Video as a Writing Prompt

Explain to students that they will use information from the video to explain how technology changes the amount of water that is used for golf course irrigation. Show the video segment that discusses the use of probes to detect moisture and salinity in the soil, 2:27 to 3:15, showing it at least twice. Have the students write a paragraph describing the probes, how they work, and how water is conserved by using them.

 

 

 

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Copy Master: Open Choice Inquiry Guide for Students

 

Science of Golf: Water Conservation

Use this guide to investigate a question about the conservation of irrigation water for a golf course. Write your lab report in your science notebook.

 

Ask Beginning Questions

The video makes me think about these questions….

 

Design Investigations

Choose one question. How can you answer it? Brainstorm with your teammates. Write a procedure that controls variables and makes accurate measurements. Look up information as needed. Add safety precautions.

         Information we need to understand before we can start our investigation is….

         The aspect of water conservation we will be working on is….

         This aspect of water conservation is important because….

         The variables we will be working with are….

         We will evaluate our design by….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

Record Data and Observations

Record your observations. Organize your data in tables or graphs as appropriate.

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Analyze your data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence your data shows. Make sure that the claim goes beyond summarizing the relationship between the variables.

 

My Evidence

My Claim

My Reason

 

 

 

 

 

Compare Findings

Review the video and then discuss your results with classmates who investigated the same or a similar question. Or do research on the Internet or talk with an expert. How do your findings compare? Be sure to give credit to others when you use their findings in your comparisons.

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in the video in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

Reflect on Learning

Think about what you found out. How does it fit with what you already knew? How does it change what you thought you knew?

         The claim made by the expert in the video is….

         I support or refute the expert’s claim because in my investigation….

         When thinking about the expert’s claims, I am confused as to why….

         Another investigation I would like to explore is….

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Copy Master: Focused Inquiry Guide for Students

 

Science of Golf: Water Conservation

Use this guide to investigate a question about the conservation of irrigation water for a golf course. Write your lab report in your science notebook.

 

Ask Beginning Questions

How do a turfgrass playing surface and the amount of water retained by the turfgrass relate to each other?

 

Design Investigations

Brainstorm with your teammates about how to answer the question. Write a procedure that controls variables and allows you to gather valid data. Add safety precautions as needed. Use these prompts to help you design your investigation.

         The characteristic of the fairway that we will be considering is….

         Other aspects or properties of the fairway that might confuse our results are….

         We will hold the slope of the fairway constant by….

         We will hold the amount of water applied to the fairway constant by….

         We will hold the amount of force applied to the ball constant by….

         We will detect or measure any differences in the amount of runoff water by….

         We predict that the rough turf will retain (more/less) water than the smooth turf….

         To conduct the investigation safely, I need to….

 

Record Data and Observations

Record and organize your observations and data in tables such as the one below.

 

Results

 

Turfgrass Characteristics

Amount of water delivered to fairway

Amount of runoff water in container

Amount of runoff water retained on fairway

Distance traveled by golf balls

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Ideas for Analyzing Data

         How did turfgrass surface type affect the amount of water retained? Can you explain what you saw?

         How do other fairway characteristics affect water retention? Did other characteristics, like slope, affect the interaction of water and the turfgrass?

         How did turfgrass texture (smooth or rough) affect the amount of water retained on the fairway? Is the result what you expected based on first viewing the video?

         Do you think that the results you obtained here would be the same results for real turfgrass on a real fairway?

         How did turfgrass texture affect the distance that a golf ball would roll across the surface?

         What sources of error might remain in this experiment, other than those for which we carefully controlled? How might you address these issues in a follow-up experiment?

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Analyze your data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence your data shows. Make sure that the claim goes beyond summarizing the relationship between the variables.

 

My Evidence

My Claim

My Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compare Findings

Review the video and then discuss your results with classmates who did the investigation using the same or a similar system or with those who did the investigation using a different system. Or do research on the Internet or talk with an expert. How do your findings compare? Be sure to give credit to others when you use their findings in your comparisons.

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in the video in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

Reflect on Learning

Think about what you found out. How does it fit with what you already knew? How does it change what you thought you knew?

         The claim made by the expert in the video is….

         I support (or refute) the expert’s claim because in my investigation….

         When thinking about the expert’s claims, I am confused as to why….

         Another investigation I would like to explore is….

 

 

(15)

 


 

Copy Master: Assessment Rubric for Inquiry Investigations

 

 

Criteria

1 point

2 points

3 points

Initial question

Question had a yes/no answer, was off topic, or otherwise was not researchable or testable.

Question was researchable or testable but too broad or not answerable by the chosen investigation.

Question clearly stated, researchable or testable, and showed direct relationship to investigation.

Investigation design

The design of the investigation did not support a response to the initial question.

While the design supported the initial question, the procedure used to collect data (e.g., number of trials, control of variables) was not sufficient.

Variables were clearly identified and controlled as needed with steps and trials that resulted in data that could be used to answer the question.

Variables

Either the dependent or independent variable was not identified.

While the dependent and independent variables were identified, no controls were present.

Variables identified and controlled in a way that results in data that can be analyzed and compared.

Safety procedures

Basic laboratory safety procedures were followed, but practices specific to the activity were not identified.

Some, but not all, of the safety equipment was used and only some safe practices needed for this investigation were followed.

Appropriate safety equipment used and safe practices adhered to.

Observations and data

Observations were not made or recorded, and data are unreasonable in nature, not recorded, or do not reflect what actually took place during the investigation.

Observations were made, but were not very detailed, or data appear invalid or were not recorded appropriately.

Detailed observations were made and properly recorded and data are plausible and recorded appropriately.

Claim

No claim was made or the claim had no relationship to the evidence used to support it.

Claim was marginally related to evidence from investigation.

Claim was backed by investigative or research evidence.

Findings comparison

Comparison of findings was limited to a description of the initial question.

Comparison of findings was not supported by the data collected.

Comparison of findings included both methodology and data collected by at least one other entity.

Reflection

Student reflections were limited to a description of the procedure used.

Student reflections were not related to the initial question.

Student reflections described at least one impact on thinking.

 

(16)

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