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Biology Teacher Hosts International Collaboration

Danish Biology teacher Ms. Karen Vibe-Pedersen, left, and CHS Biology teacher Mrs. Maya Schultz teamed efforts to connect their students in lake-study biology lessons.

CHS Biology teacher Mrs. Maya Schultz has taken peer collaboration to a whole new level! In the spring of 2012, Mrs. Schultz collaborated with biology teacher Ms. Karen Vibe-Pedersen from our sister school of Aarhus Katedralskole in Aarhus, Denmark. The project involved calculating the health of three lakes. “Collaboration involved emailing and skyping between Karen and myself as we decided what we wanted to have the students study,” said Mrs. Schultz.

According to Mrs. Schultz, the collaborative study paired US and Danish students together as they calculated the health of three lakes. To do this, students had to: 1. Analyze abiotic factors; 2. Capture and classify macro invertebrates living in three lakes; 3. Determine the biotic index of each lake; and 4. Compare the three lakes and determine why, if any, there is a difference in the health of each.

Mrs. Schultz’ class visited Cane Creek to gather data and classify organisms found in the lake. They then participated in a whole-class Skype with the Danish students to share the data they collected from analyzing lakes in each of our countries. They then emailed and continued to gather data necessary to complete the lab, including sending pictures back and forth of each of the lakes as well as organisms found in the lake.

"I was excited to have an opportunity allowing my students to engage in an authentic scientific study not just of a lake in our country but also of lakes in another country as well. We might be different than the Danish in some ways, but we also have many similarities in terms of environmental concerns. Seeing how excited the students were to share real data and their photos made the hard work worthwhile. The value of the whole class skype went beyond just the science as our students had a chance to interact with students from Denmark. I was able to meet Ms. Vibe-Pedersen in person as we were both in New York City this summer. We are planning to involve next semester's students in the project as well,” said Mrs. Schultz.

Written by: Paula White
Posted: Sep 07, 2012 by Paula White

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