Land Lab

Independence Learning Object/Objective: The main objective from the Independence Learning Community is to simply use the applied knowledge and processes taken from the ISLS Institute to help the school. One of the main objectives includes the Land Lab, a temperate deciduous forest with a running stream that the group plans to keep a running stream profile. The Land Lab, for many years, has served as a special outlet for young students in both middle school and high school to explore the beautiful outdoors and to learn about the many things denoted to nature. However, due to the sudden mass development in the area, erosion has erupted in the stream. Because of this, it has become part of the group's agenda to use the data collected from the running stream to make future suggestions to the Independence City Council in reviving the stream. It is hopeful that the group's efforts and knowledge about the Land Lab will be enough to convince the City Council to willingly renovate and better the stream for the welfare of the whole Independence community. In addition to using the learnings from the ISLS STEM program for the benefits of the Land Lab, another part of the agenda is to implement the teachings into the Environmental Science curriculum at Independence High School. Members of the Independence Learning Community along with other Environmental Science students will use the same techniques and equipment used during the 12-day learning adventure, and apply them to saving the stream.   Our Processes:
  • Laser Level-  A vital tool in surveying land, the laser level is connected to a tripod in which it is spun to illuminate in a horizontal plane. Its laser beam has a rotating head with a mirror which detects if the land is self-leveling. If not, then there are certain level vials and manually adjustable screws on the laser sensor to help exact the right position of the laser beam. The position of the sensor shows comparison of different elevations of land through distinct points of the terrain.
Photo By Scott Maretka 
  • Headwater Habitat Evaluation Index (HHEI)
  • ORAM (Wetlands Monitoring)
Photo By Raphael Kelani
The Independence Group at the ODCE Conference:
On March 2, 2008, the students had a chance to present at the ODCE Conference down in Columbus. Their main objective was to show attendees how they have utilized technology in secondary science education. The students focused on the use of pocket PCs in the field, discussing how “hand-held” technology is being used as a reference resource and a means of collecting data during field studies in their environmental science class. A highlight of the day was the chance to meet and present to the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, Eric Fingerhut. Mr. Fingerhut had been invited as the keynote speaker for the conference, sharing with all of us the “master plan” of The University System of Ohio, the expectations for institutions and faculty, and his vision for on-line learning in Ohio. groupposter.jpg

Photo by Scott Maretka


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