Communicating Scientific Information

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Grades
5-12

NatureBridge’s environmental science educators lead interactive online sessions designed for students to apply prior knowledge outlined in the NGSS Practice of Science and Engineering to obtain, evaluate and communicate information. Using prior knowledge from a previous NatureBridge distance learning program, students will create their own communication plans and evaluate the effectiveness of their plans for different audiences. This program option is available for groups who have participated in NatureBridge’s Fire Ecology, Elwha River Restoration or Climate Change Community Impacts.

These lessons  will be combined with CASEL’s 5 Core Competencies of Social and Emotional Learning to show that growing in our own interpersonal and intrapersonal skills is as important in science as the content and data. 

Program Format

Two educators lead each 40- to 60-minute session as presenter and host using a video conference platform such as Zoom. Attending teachers participate as chaperones who observe and assist students as needed. Interactive technology tools may include Prezi, Jamboards, GoogleSlides, breakout sessions and participant polls.

Session 1 40- to 60-minute live session
During this lesson, students will focus on communicating information. How do we communicate information in science? What are the most effective and ineffective ways? How do our communication skills impact our ability to be an effective scientist? Why is it important that information is communicated?

Session 2 40- to 60-minute live session
Students will use what they learned in the first session to communicate scientific information. Students will choose a study from one of the national parks, a target audience and a communication method. They will then create a communication plan for that information. Students will share their plan with the group and evaluate for effectiveness. Students will wrap up by reevaluating their communication checklist and determining what makes an effective communicator in and outside of the science classroom.

Standards & Outcomes

NGSS Standards

  • 5-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity: Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
  • MS-LS2-4 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations
  • Science & Engineering Practices:  Asking Questions; Developing and Using Models; Construction Explanations; Communicating Information

CASEL's 5 Core Competencies

  • Self-awareness 
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness 
  • Relationship skills 
  • Responsible decision-making

By the end of the program, students will be able to:

  • Understand communication comes in a variety of forms and from a variety of sources
  • Discuss what science literacy means 
  • Explore how jargon can influence access to information
  • See connections between relationship skills and navigating social and cultural norms
  • See connections between self-awareness and knowing how the way you share information could be seen by others (implicit bias)
  • Support the NGSS standard of obtaining, evaluating and communicating information
  • Evaluate and utilize a rubric evaluating communication efficiency

Materials Needed

Access to a computer, tablet or other online learning compatible device. Paper and pencil, coloring materials and/or something to write with. 

Adult Expectations

At least one teacher will be present throughout each live online session. Other adults may attend by invitation from the teacher or group coordinator. All attending adults must complete NatureBridge’s Participant Registration Form in advance of the session. 

It is the responsibility of attending adults to support student learning and safety during large group instruction and small breakout sessions by following the expectations listed below. 

  • Support students in staying on task. 
  • Address discipline concerns, while allowing students to be engaged and answer questions on their own. 
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude and model inclusive behavior.
  • Communicate with the group’s NatureBridge educator about the educational plan and offer constructive feedback when appropriate.

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