Open to all Middle and High School Classes
Division I – 6th – 8th grade
Division II – 9th – 12th grade
Due: April 15, 2013
Table of Contents
- The Challenge
- Range of Activities
- Essential Questions
- Student Outcomes
- Evaluation Rubric
- Curricular Goals
Humans aren’t the only ones who want to go on cruises! Water Co. has published the following advertisement in the Daily Splash.
To all Water Droplets:
Stuck in your same old water cycle? Looking for a new experience? Come on one of our cruises in our top-selling locations! We offer water cycle cruises through backyards, oceans, cities, and more!
Water Co. is looking for a way to attract water droplets to their cruises – which is where you come in. Here’s what you need to do:
- Research the water cycle and how it can interact with landscapes.
- Pick a water cycle cruise location that runs through at least one of the following five environments: a suburban backyard, an ocean, a river, an urban sidewalk, or a subterranean reservoir.
- Create a media piece to sell the cruise to other water droplets – this could be a photomontage with music and “travel log” narration, an animation, a video, a commercial, etc. Your team decides, but it must be visual: no audio productions.
- The sales pitch must mention or show various places you’ll visit and things you’ll see.
- The cruise must go through at least three location transitions and one phase change (gas, liquid, solid), ending in its original phase.
- The cruise must make clear references to the affects in climate, atmosphere and landscape at each phase, as applicable.
- Put a time frame to this trip – is this trip 1 day, 1 month, 100 years, or maybe 100,000 years?
- The sales pitch should be 2-3 minutes long.
- The video sales pitch (this is the only Meridian Stories deliverable)
- The script
- Scientific Research – water cycle, water states, weather and climate
- Creative Brainstorming – decisions about sales pitch format and key narrative elements to communicate story
- Scriptwriting to persuade
- Video Production – – Pre-production, Production, Post-production
- Range of production activities might include Image Collection, Video Shooting, Audio Recording and Editing
We recommend that this Meridian Stories Challenge take place inside of a three to four week time frame. The students must work in teams of 3-4. All reviews by the teacher are at the discretion of the teacher. Below is a suggested breakdown for the students’ work.
In Phase I, student teams will:
- Research water cycles, paying attention to how it affects weather/climate and shapes landscapes.
- Choose water cycle location from the given options.
- Research and choose at least 3 other logical and plausible environments for the water to pass through, including one that necessitates a phase change.
- Determine a reasonable time frame for the water cycle trip, from start to finish.
- Write up outline of proposed water cycle cruise, with all pertinent scientific content clearly articulated. (This outline can be presented to the teacher for review and comment, at the teacher’s discretion.)
|Meridian Stories provides two forms of support for the student teams.
Recommended review, as a team, for this Challenge include:
|Media Innovators and Artists||Meridian Tips|
|On Documentary Films – Sarah ChildressOn Film Producing – Tom Pierce
On Non-fiction – Margaret Heffernan
|“Creative Commons Licenses”“Six Principal Modes of Documentary Filmmaking”|
In Phase II, student teams will:
- Brainstorm about the key ideas that will inform your sales pitch. Here are some questions and ideas to consider:
- Pretend you are a water droplet. What do water droplets like? Do they prefer: Independence? Communal living (like in a river or puddle)? Bright scenery or darkness? Non-water company…like fish? Earth or air?
- Once you have created a portrait of the needs and wants of a water droplet, figure out what are the two or three chief ‘selling points’ for the Water Cycle Cruise that you have outlined. These points could form the spine of your sales pitch.
- Watch commercials on TV. You may want to pay special attention to the shopping channels that specialize in selling techniques. What works and what doesn’t work? Are there any ideas that you can adapt to your sales pitch?
- Your team should now have a) the key scientific points that need to be communicated and b) a handful of creative ideas from your brainstorm above. Decide on the format or approach to your sales pitch and create script outline.
- Draft the script.
- Discuss and map out the imagery needed to tell your story.
- Pre-produce the video, preparing for all the shots that you will need to shoot, and researching, as necessary, the still images that you will integrate into your pitch.
In Phase III, student teams will:
- Finalize the script
- Shoot the sales pitch video
- Record the voice-over or narration, as necessary.
- Edit the moving and still images together and complete the post-production.
- How does the movement of water shape Earth’s surface and affect its systems?
- How is water able to pass through so many places?
- In what ways can water affect weather and climate?
- How has incorporating scientific research into the production of a video that is intended to educate and persuade, changed your understanding of the science?
- What techniques did you use to persuade the water droplet viewer to take a water cruise?
- How has working on a team changed the learning experience?
- The student will begin to explore how water’s continual cycling among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation, crystallization, precipitation, and other processes affects Earth’s weathering, erosion, and other dynamics.
- The student will understand that water is found almost everywhere on earth due to its state variability – it may be water vapor in the atmosphere, solid ice in a glacier, etc.
- The student will understand that water allows for the redistribution of energy through myriad ways such as ocean currents or atmospheric circulation – wind currents containing water vapor. Water vapor, as an atmospheric gas, also contributes to the greenhouse effect, which insulates our planet and affects climate.
- The student will understand more about the science content by approaching it through a media production designed to educate the audience.
- The student will understand more about the different methods and approaches used to sell products and the particulars about why some are effective, and in which situations.
- The student will have an increased awareness of the challenges and rewards of team collaboration.
|CONTENT COMMAND – Clear understanding of the processes in question|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Communication of Content – The Water Cycle||Understanding of the water cycle is not evident||Some understanding of the water cycle is evident||Thorough understanding of the water cycle is evident|
|Conditions of the Challenge – Location, Transitions, Phase Change, Time Frame||The conditions of the challenge involving location, transitions, phase change, and time frame are not met||The conditions of the challenge involving location, transitions, phase change, and time frame are met, but are either not clearly presented or not incorporated creatively||The conditions of the challenge involving location, transitions, phase change, and time frame are fulfilled in a creative manner|
|Water’s Causal Relationships||The relationship between water and the earth’s climate, atmosphere and /or landscape is not presented clearly||The relationship between water and the earth’s climate, atmosphere and/or landscape is presented clearly||The relationship between water and the earth’s climate, atmosphere and/or landscape is presented clearly and compellingly|
|STORYTELLING COMMAND – Good use of narrative elements to communicate content|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Script/Narrative Clarity||The narrative is hard to follow and/or the scripting is lackluster and ineffective||The narrative is presented clearly, but the scripting is inconsistently engaging||The narrative is presented clearly and the scripting is engaging and effective|
|Persuasion||The sales pitch does not successfully persuade||The sales pitch is inconsistently persuasive and engaging||The sales pitch is consistently persuasive and engaging|
|Creative Approach||The creative approach does not service the content clearly or appropriately||The creative approach is well matched to the content||The creative approach is imaginative and well matched to the content|
|MEDIA COMMAND – Effective use of the media to communicate content|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Mixed Visual Media||The use of imagery – still or moving – does not service the narrative well||The use of imagery – still or moving – services the narrative clearly||The use of imagery – still or moving – demonstrates an effective and creative use of visuals, and propels the narrative forward|
|Sound Design||The mix of music and sound does not enhance most elements of the narrative||The mix of music and sound services the intent of the narrative||The mix of music and sound greatly enhances the intent of the narrative|
|21ST CENTURY SKILLS COMMAND (for teachers only) – Effective use of collaborative thinking, creativity and innovation, and initiative and self-direction to create and produce the final project.|
|Collaborative Thinking||The group did not work together effectively and/or did not share the work equally||The group worked together effectively and had no major issues||The group demonstrated flexibility in making compromises and valued the contributions of each group member|
|Creativity and Innovation||The group did not make a solid effort to create anything new or innovative||The group was able to brainstorm new and inventive ideas, but was inconsistent in their realistic evaluation and implementation of those ideas||The group brainstormed many inventive ideas and was able to evaluate, refine and implement them effectively|
|Initiative and Self-Direction||The group was unable to set attainable goals, work independently and manage their time effectively||The group required some additional help, but was able to complete the project on time with few problems||The group set attainable goals, worked independently and managed their time effectively, demonstrating a disciplined commitment to the project|
The Water Cycle Cruise Sales Pitch Challenge addresses a range of curricular objectives that are articulated in the working document entitled ‘A Framework for K – 12 Science Education’. Published by the National Academy of Sciences, this document will form the basis for the Next Generation Science Standards, in which Maine is a ‘lead state’. Below please find the standards that are addressed, either wholly or in part.
A Framework for K-12 Science Education – Dimensions of the Framework
|Subject||Grade 8 Expectations||Grade 12 Expectations|
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
|Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy is transferred between producers (generally plants and other organisms that engage in photosynthesis), consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact—primarily for food—within an ecosystem. Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level—for example, when molecules from food react with oxygen captured from the environment, the carbon dioxide and water thus produced are transferred back to the environment, and ultimately so are waste products, such as fecal material. Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments or to the water in aquatic environments. The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are cycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem.||Photosynthesis and cellular respiration (including anaerobic processes) provide most of the energy for life processes. Plants or algae form the lowest level of the food web. At each link upward in a food web, only a small fraction of the matter consumed at the lower level is transferred upward, to produce growth and release energy in cellular respiration at the higher level. Given this inefficiency, there are generally fewer organisms at higher levels of a food web, and there is a limit to the number of organisms that an ecosystem can sustain.The chemical elements that make up the molecules of organisms pass through food webs and into and out of the atmosphere and soil and are combined and recombined in different ways. At each link in an ecosystem, matter and energy are conserved; some matter reacts to release energy for life functions, some matter is stored in newly made structures, and much is discarded. Competition among species is ultimately competition for the matter and energy needed for life.
Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are important components of the car- bon cycle, in which carbon is exchanged between the biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and geosphere through chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes.
EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCES
The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes
|Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation as well as downhill flows on land. The complex patterns of the changes and the movement of water in the atmosphere, determined by winds, landforms, and ocean temperatures and currents, are major determinants of local weather patterns. Global movements of water and its changes in form are propelled by sunlight and gravity. Variations in density due to variations in temperature and salinity drive a global pattern of interconnected ocean cur- rents. Water’s movements—both on the land and underground—cause weathering and erosion, which change the land’s surface features and create underground formations.||The abundance of liquid water on Earth’s surface and its unique combination of physical and chemical properties are central to the planet’s dynamics. These properties include water’s exceptional capacity to absorb, store, and release large amounts of energy; transmit sunlight; expand upon freezing; dissolve and transport materials; and lower the viscosities and melting points of rocks.|
EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCES
Weather and Climate
|Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns. Because these patterns are so complex, weather can be predicted only probabilistically. The ocean exerts a major influence on weather and climate by absorbing energy from the sun, releasing it over time, and globally redistributing it through ocean currents. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorb and retain the energy radiated from land and ocean surfaces, thereby regulating Earth’s average surface temperature and keeping it habitable.||The foundation for Earth’s global climate system is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems and this energy’s reradiation into space. Climate change can occur when certain parts of Earth’s systems are altered. Geological evidence indicates that past climate changes were either sudden changes caused by alterations in the atmosphere; longer term changes (e.g., ice ages) due to variations in solar output, Earth’s orbit, or the orientation of its axis; or even more gradual atmospheric changes due to plants and other organisms that captured carbon dioxide and released oxygen. The time scales of these changes varied from a few to millions of years. Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.Global climate models incorporate scientists’ best knowledge of physical and chemical processes and of the interactions of relevant systems. They are tested by their ability to fit past climate variations. Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and the biosphere. Hence the outcomes depend on human behaviors as well as on natural factors that involve complex feedbacks among Earth’s systems.|