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ERIC Number: EJ905736
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-1059-9053
Impact of an Ecohydrology Classroom Activity on Middle School Students' Understanding of Evapotranspiration
Villegas, Juan Camilo; Morrison, Clayton T.; Gerst, Katharine L.; Beal, Carole R.; Espeleta, Javier E.; Adamson, Matt
Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, v39 p150-156 2010
Current trends in ecological research emphasize interdisciplinary approaches for assessing effects of present and predicted environmental changes. One such emerging interdisciplinary field is the discipline of ecohydrology, which studies the feedbacks and interactions between ecological and hydrological processes. However, interdisciplinary science, which includes ecohydrology and other fields, has not yet been effectively translated into many K-12 curricula. We adapted an ecohydrological research project, originally conducted at the Biosphere 2 research apparatus, for use in a middle school classroom. The experiment focuses on describing the effects of changes in landscape vegetation cover on the partitioning of evapotranspiration, the major component of the water budget, into plant transpiration and soil evaporation. The 1-week long experiment was conducted by Grade 6 students (n = 82) in classrooms in Oro Valley, AZ. Students completed pre- and post-experiment tests designed to assess their general understanding of the components of evapotranspiration as well as the scientific procedures that can be used to differentiate them. Our results show significant improvement between the pre- and post-experiment evaluations on the understanding of the water cycle concepts, particularly those associated with evapotranspiration. This improvement illustrates how the incorporation of experimental knowledge can constitute a key instrument to successful delivery of scientific information in the classroom. We discuss how current scientific research can be effectively incorporated into the science curriculum, which in turn can be used as an instrumental tool to produce scientifically relevant data. (Contains 1 figure.)
American Society of Agronomy. 677 South Segoe Road, Madison, WI 53711. Tel: 608-273-8080; Fax: 608-273-2021; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 6; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona