3.1.3.2 Cultures

Grade: 
3
Subject:
Science
Strand:
Nature of Science & Engineering
Substrand:
Interactions Among Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Society
Standard 3.1.3.2

Men and women throughout the history of all cultures, including Minnesota American Indian tribes and communities, have been involved in engineering design and scientific inquiry.

Benchmark: 3.1.3.2.1 Use of Evidence

Understand that everybody can use evidence to learn about the natural world, identify patterns in nature, and develop tools.

For example: Ojibwe and Dakota knowledge and use of patterns in the stars to predict and plan.

Benchmark: 3.1.3.2.2 Involvement of Various people

Recognize that the practice of science and/or engineering involves many different kinds of work and engages men and women of all ages and backgrounds.

Overview

Standard in Lay Terms 

MN Standard in Lay Terms

Throughout history, people of all cultures have used the natural world and its patterns to practice scientific inquiry and to develop tools through the practice of engineering.  Men and women of all ages and backgrounds have contributed and continue to contribute to various types of science and engineering work.

©Phillip Martin

See this page

Big Ideas and Essential Understandings 

Big Idea

NSES Standards: Science as a Human Endeavor

The following NSES standards represent essential understanding of this particular science standard:

  • Science and technology have been practiced by people for a long time.
  • Men and women have made a variety of contributions throughout the history of science and technology.
  • Although men and women using scientific inquiry have learned much about the objects, events, and phenomena in nature, much more remains to be understood. Science will never be finished.
  • Many people choose science as a career and devote their entire lives to studying it. Many people derive great pleasure from doing science.
Benchmark Cluster 

MN Standard Benchmarks 

  • 3.1.3.2.1  Understand that everybody can use evidence to learn about the natural world, identify patterns in nature, and develop tools.
  • 3.1.3.2.2  Recognize that the practice of science and/or engineering involves many different kinds of work and engages men and women of all ages and backgrounds.

The Essentials

Video Clip: Scientists Accomplish: Scientists are handling the issues that matter to us all.  But just what can they do?  It's all here, by ignitelearning (http://www.youtube.com/user/ignitelearning).

Correlations 

NSES Standards: Understanding About Science and Technology

  • People have always had questions about their world.  Science is one way of answering questions and explaining the natural world.
  • People have always had problems and invented tools and techniques (ways of doing something) to solve problems.  Trying to determine the effects of solutions helps people avoid some new problems.
  • Scientists and engineers often work in teams with different individuals doing different things that contribute to the results.  This understanding focuses primarily on teams working together and secondarily, on the combination of scientist and engineer teams.
  • Women and men of all ages, backgrounds, and groups engage in a variety of scientific and technological work.
  • Tools help scientists make better observations, measurements, and equipment for investigations.  They help scientists see, measure, and do things that they could not otherwise see, measure, and do.

NSES Standards: Science as a Human Endeavor

  • Science and technology have been practiced by people for a long time.
  • Men and women have made a variety of contributions throughout the history of science and technology.
  • Although men and women using scientific inquiry have learned much about the objects, events, and phenomena in nature, much more remains to be understood. Science will never be finished.
  • Many people choose science as a career and devote their entire lives to studying it. Many people derive great pleasure from doing science.

AAAS Atlas

  • Doing science involves many different kinds of work and engages men and women of all ages and backgrounds. 1C/E3 (ID: SMS-BMK-0035)
  • Science is an adventure that people everywhere can take part in, as they have for many centuries.  1C/E1 (ID: SMS-BMK-1656)

Benchmarks of Science Literacy

By the end of the 2nd grade, students should know that:

  • Everybody can do science and invent things and ideas. 1C/P1 (Correlates to benchmark 3.1.3.2.1)
  • In doing science, it is often helpful to work with a team and to share findings with others.  All team members should reach their own individual conclusions, however, about what the findings mean. 1C/P2 (Correlates to benchmark 3.1.3.2.2)

By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that:

  • Science is an adventure that people everywhere can take part in, as they have for many centuries. 1C/E1 (Correlates benchmark 3.1.3.2.1)
  • Doing science involves many different kinds of work and engages men and women of all ages and backgrounds. 1C/E3 (Correlates benchmark 3.1.3.2.2)
  • Many social practices and products of technology are shaped by scientific knowledge. 1C/E4** (Correlates benchmark 3.1.3.2.1)

Common Core Standards

3rd grade science requires students to understand that men and women throughout the history of all cultures, including Minnesota American Indian tribes and communities, have been involved in engineering design and scientific inquiry (Benchmarks 3.1.3.2.1 and 3.1.3.2.2) in speaking and class discussions.  The Minnesota K-12 Language Arts Standards describe what students should be able to accomplish through speaking:

  • 3.8.1.1  Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • 3.8.3.3  Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.

Misconceptions

Student Misconceptions 

Student Misconceptions

  • When asked to describe their views about science in general, students portray scientists as brilliant, dedicated, and essential to the world.  However, when asked about science as a career, students respond with a negative image of scientific work and scientists.  They see scientific work as dull and rarely rewarding, and scientists as bearded, balding, working alone in the laboratory, isolated, and lonely.
  • Some research suggests that this image may represent students' knowledge of the public stereotype rather than their personal views and knowledge of science and scientists.
  • Some students of all ages believe science mainly invents things or solves practical problems rather than exploring and understanding the world.  From NSDL Science Literacy Maps

Vignette

Throughout the school year Ms. E.'s third graders participate in a variety of inquiry activities both in and out of the classroom.  This activity sets the stage for connecting what they are learning and doing to activities that scientists do.

"What is science?" Ms. E. asks her students.  After some thoughtful, quiet thinking, most students respond with "I don't know" or declare that science is something big people do.  One student recalls that there was a science table in kindergarten, but can't remember what they actually did there.  Noticing that her students are struggling with the vagueness of this question, she asks, "What do you call a person who does science?"  The unanimous answer is "A scientist!"  "Well," she continues, walking over to the board, "What does a scientist do?"  Many students raise their hands and some begin shouting out answers.  "They study animals!"  "They study dinosaurs!"  "They study tornadoes!"  "They study volcanoes!"  To reinforce the use of the word scientist, Ms. E. writes and says, "Scientists study dinosaurs."  After a while, the students pick up the pattern and offer "Scientists study chemicals," and "Scientists study people."

Probing further, Ms. E. asks, "What does 'study' mean?"  The children are quiet for a while until one student ventures, "They, I mean scientists, find out about things."  In a flash, students offer answers until the board is filled with statements such as "Scientists mix stuff together," "Scientists look closely at things," "Scientists go places to find out about things," and "Scientists read about things."  Underlining the phrase 'look closely,' she asks them to think about what it means to look closely, eventually introducing the word 'observe.'  "How do scientists remember what they observe?" she asks.  The students offer ideas such as videotaping, writing about, and drawing what they see.

The students then don an old sock over one of their shoes and go for a walk outside.  When the students return, they use a hand lens to 'look closely,' sort, and identify what they gathered on their one sock walk.  Calling them back to their original list about scientists, Ms. E. asks, "How are we like scientists?"  A spirited discussion follows about how they 'study' what they have found on their socks and 'look closely' using tools like a hand lens.  "What questions do we have about what we found?"  There is an uproar as students shout out questions.  "Is this a seed?"  "Will it grow?"  "Why did they stick to our socks?"  "Would I find the same stuff if I walked in my backyard?"  "Why are they all brown and gray?"  Once again, Ms. E. brings them back to their discussions about what scientists do.  She asks, "How do scientists know what to study?"  After a lively discussion, the students decide that scientists "look closely and ask lots and lots of questions."  Ms. E. notes, "Just like us!" and the students begin investigations of their questions. 

Vignette adapted from SciMathMN's K-12 Science Framework 1997.

Resources

Instructional Notes 

Selected Labs and Activities

Colonial Home Remedies Lesson (Benchmark  3.2.3.2.1)

This is a lesson in which students learn about the benefits and uses of a colonial herb garden.  Objectives: As a result of this lesson, students will be able to: identify plants used in the eighteenth century for medicinal purposes, compare eighteenth-century remedies with remedies of the twentieth century.

Images of Science (Benchmarks 3.1.3.2.1 and 3.1.3.2.2)

Purpose: To understand the diversity of the scientific enterprise.  Summary: The activities in this lesson provide students with an understanding of the diversity of the scientific enterprise, and the people engaged in the work.  Students will make a science collage depicting things related to science, draw a picture of a scientist at work, and examine a number of newspapers to look for stories that are related to science.

Alaska Native Ways of Knowing (Benchmarks 3.1.3.2.1 and 3.1.3.2.2)

Purpose: To understand the diversity of the scientific enterprise.  Summary: Students learn about Alaska Native ways of knowing ("reading" the land, knowing the local language, learning from Elders, and living in harmony with nature).  They will watch videos and interviews that will help them prepare for their primary assignment: completing a science fair project that demonstrates the application of traditional knowledge to a scientific topic.

Joseph Bruchac is the author of more than 70 books for children and adults.  The best selling Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children and others of his "Keepers" series, with their remarkable integration of science and folklore, continue to receive critical acclaim and to be used in classrooms throughout the country.  Visit his website to find his book and poem series and classroom suggestions.

Patterns in Nature (Benchmark 3.1.3.2.1)

Purpose: The natural world contains an infinite variety of patterns.  This is an excellent site to find resources to observe the diversity of patterns in nature.  Patterns are found in plants and foliage and in animals.  All living things create patterns.  Patterns are also constantly being created by simple physical laws.  There are patterns in the sand dunes created by blowing winds.  There is a pattern in the vortex of a whirlpool and in the formation of an ice crystal.

Pipeline Challenge (Benchmark 3.1.3.2.2)

Students design and construct a pipeline to carry a ping pong ball and a golf ball across the classroom.  In this engineering design lesson, students learn to work as a team as they plan, build, and evaluate their pipelines.

Rescue Rover (Benchmarks 3.1.3.2.1 and 3.1.3.2.2)

This lesson explores how rescue devices are designed to aid professionals during emergency situations.  Students work in teams of "engineers" to design and build their own rescue device out of everyday items.  They test their rescue device, evaluate their results, and present to the class.

Instructional Suggestions/Options

Teachers can build on third graders' curiosity about the natural world by having students ask questions that can be answered using their scientific knowledge base and their own observations.  Students can work in cooperative groups to conduct investigations that begin with a question and progress toward seeking information and communicating an answer to the question.  Emphasis should continue to be placed on making detailed observations and on generating descriptions and explanations based on those observations.  Interesting historical examples of the diversity of women and men working in the scientific community can be introduced through stories and videos.  These examples can also provide information about what science is and how it works.  Ref: Understanding Science website

Teachers should emphasize the diversity to be found in the scientific community: different kinds of people (in terms of race, sex, age, nationality) pursuing different sciences and working in different places (from isolated field sites to labs to offices). Students can learn that some scientists and engineers use huge instruments (e.g., particle accelerators or telescopes), and others use only notebooks and pencils. And most of all, students can begin to realize that doing science involves more than "scientists," and that many different occupations are part of the scientific enterprise. Ref: Benchmarks Online ~ Project 2061 ~ AAAS

For students in traditional settings (i.e., settings that are mainly non-industrialized), daily living is guided, at least to some extent, by a knowledge system that is different from conventional science as taught in schools.  The knowledge is typically passed down orally from one generation to the next.

Even students who live in Western settings may sometimes draw on "common sense" knowledge, not school science knowledge, in making some of their decisions.

If meaningful science programmes are to be devised for such students, then their background experiences must be taken into consideration.

Culture and Science Education: A Look from the Developing World, by June George

Instructional Resources 

Additional Resources

A Gallery of Energy Pioneers: Click on various pictures to read more about each super scientist

Video Clip: Case Studies in Science Education: Donna - Grade 5

CLIP DESCRIPTION: Donna has many Native American students in her class and her lessons focus on archaeology as well as the folklore of Native Americans.  This may also serve to illustrate the contribution of minorities in science and may help to validate students' personal and social experiences with scientific ideas.

AAAS BENCHMARK: 1C (3-5) #1. Science is an adventure that people everywhere can take part in, as they have for many centuries.

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Heritage Center: Field Trip opportunity to see archaeological tools and folklore of the Chippewa.  Also a great place for teachers to learn about Chippewa (Ojibwe) culture and contributions to science.  Located on the grounds of Fortune Bay on Lake Vermilion, Tower, MN. PHONE: 218-753-6017

Peoples Under the Arctic Sky by Mille Porsild.  An online article with several links to show students how a variety of arctic people use evidence to learn about the natural world, identify patterns in nature, and develop tools.

New Vocabulary 

Vocabulary/Glossary

Culture: 1. the beliefs, social practices, and characteristics of a racial, religious, or social group; 2. the characteristic features of everyday life shared by people in a particular place or time. (Definition from Merriam Webster Word Central.)

Design: the approach engineers use to solve engineering problems - generally, to determine the best way to make a device or process that serves a particular purpose.

Engineering: the science or profession of developing and using nature's power and resources in ways that are useful to people (as in designing and building roads,              bridges, dams, or machines and in creating new products). (Definition from Merriam Webster Word Central.)                   

Evidence: information (data, facts, observations) used to support or not support a claim.

Inquiry: process of asking questions to find out more about a topic.

Technology Connections 

Various pictures of Indian Country Tools such as Ojibwe fishing net, cradle board, snowshoes, and antler hook used to hang pots over the fire.

Ojibway Fact Sheet

A great site to show tipis, bark houses, wigwams and canoes.  Also the many tools used for harvesting wild rice and for fishing.

Mille Lacs Indian Museum

Includes a video clip describing field trip opportunities.  It may also be used to identify tools used by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe American Indians. 

Lessons and Activities about Arctic Peoples from Beyond Polar Bears and Penguins: An Online Magazine for K-5 Teachers.

Amazon Explorer (Benchmark 3.1.3.2.1)

This is an interactive journey to discover the rainforest and its benefits to humans.

Cultural and Spiritual Biodiversity (Benchmark 3.1.3.2.1 and 3.1.3.2.2)

This is a book for teachers.  "Weaving together philosophical, historical, legal, scientific and personal viewpoints, this book gives a rich sample of the vast web that makes up our cultural, spiritual and social diversity."  The United Nations Environment Programme provides a free download of this book.

Native American Ethnobotany database (Benchmark 3.1.3.2.1 and 3.1.3.2.2)

Search through the University of Michigan database about foods, drugs, dyes, and fibers of native North American peoples.

World Atlas of Biodiversity - interactive map (Benchmark 3.1.3.2.1)

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released the first World Atlas of Biodiversity in August 2002.  This link takes you to their online interactive map that helps you search for data about species/land/water loss, extinction over time, and human global development.

NASA for Kids: Intro To Engineering video (Benchmarks 3.1.3.2.1 and 3.1.3.2.2)

This is quick (one minute) video for giving students a quick overview as to who/what an engineer is.

Cross Curricular Connections 

MN Social Studies Standard: Family Life Today and In The Past:

The student will understand how families live today and in earlier times, recognizing that some aspects change over time while others stay the same.

  • Benchmark I.A.1  Students will compare family life in his or her community from earlier times and today.
  • Benchmark I.A.3  Students will compare technologies from earlier times and today, and identify the impact of invention on historical change.

Social Studies Standards are currently in revision; this link will take you to the K-3 Minnesota Academic Standards in History and Social Studies alignment tool.

Assessment

Assessment of Students

Students research a Native American home (tipi, wigwam, longhouse, etc) and make a PowerPoint presentation describing the benefits of the engineering design for the specific region as well as cultural aspects of the home (e.g. paintings on tipis, totem poles outside, etc).  Teachers can begin the project with a reading of Native Homes (Native Nations of North America) by Bobbie Kalman.  Teachers can use Rubistar to create an assessment rubric for the project.

Students may write a paragraph supporting the following statement: "Doing science involves many different kinds of work and engages men and women of all ages and backgrounds."  Have them cite examples from newspaper articles they or their classmates selected to support their answer.

Assessment of Teachers

Can you identify examples of how science and technology have been practiced by people for a long time?

Can you show students how men and women have made a variety of contributions throughout the history of science and technology?

Have you helped your students understand that although men and women using scientific inquiry have learned much about objects, events, and phenomena in nature, much more remains to be understood?  Science will never be finished.

Ref: NSES Standards: Science as a Human Endeavor

Differentiation

English Language Learners 

Make use of students' background knowledge of science concepts.  Attempt to discover what ELLs already know about a given topic and build upon it.  Ref: Teaching Today: How-To Articles

Invite students to share explanations of scientific concepts from their cultures, for example, how the constellations were formed.

Extending the Learning 

Students can begin to explore science careers in a variety of fields at the Science Buddies website.

Students may prepare a project describing how the impact on the environment must be considered when a new engineering "tool" is introduced.  Give examples of a new technology (e.g. wind turbines) in your area that has environmental implications.

Multi-Cultural 

Allow students to share what they know about tools used in their cultures.  Perhaps via a show-and-tell-type event during class.  Borrow artifacts and pictures of artifacts from museum libraries to share in the classroom.

Develop learning stations.  Create areas in the classroom for independent or small-group investigation of a scientific principle or process.  Provide necessary materials and resources at each location.  The topic at each station should relate to a major theme of study.  Tasks should emphasize thinking skills and should force students to actively solve problems.  Move among students as they work, asking questions and cementing understanding.

Engage students in role play or simulation activities.  Activities based on authentic situations can stimulate learning in students with a variety of interests, learning styles, and abilities.  Design lessons around computer simulations, debates, or science topics currently in the news.  These types of activities have the power to engage students and encourage active learning.

Ref: Teaching Today: How-To Articles

Special Education 

Communicate using many formats.  Graphs, charts, and figures that do not rely primarily on written or spoken language to convey information can be extremely helpful. Layout of visual aids should be clear and uncluttered.

Focus on key science terms.  Use short, less complex sentences to teach and reinforce important vocabulary before, during, and after the lesson.

Have students identify familiar terminology.  Many science terms are used internationally.  Ask students to inform you when they recognize this type of vocabulary.

Consider your seating plan.  Students with limited English proficiency or SpEd students might benefit from sitting closest to the instructor, to a student who might assist with translation, or to a particular classroom resource.

Provide additional opportunities for practice.  Students with limited English proficiency or SpEd students may need extra time and practice opportunities.

Ref: Teaching Today: How-To Articles

Parents/Admin

Classroom Observation 

Administrators

Administrators should expect to see students and teachers learning how a variety of people throughout history and in the present have used the natural world and its patterns to practice scientific inquiry, and to develop tools through the practice of engineering. 

Parents 

Have your child spend part of a day (or even an hour) with a park ranger, pharmacist, veterinarian, chemist, engineer, or laboratory technician.  This can teach the importance of science for many jobs.  Prior to the visit, encourage your child to read about the work so she will be able to ask good questions during the visit.  After the visit, be sure to have your child reflect and record what she has learned in her science notebook or journal.

Take your child to a museum and note all the tools from the various cultures used for every day use, survival, and entertainment.