With JASON, teachers will still be responsible for assessing students' misconceptions, addressing holes in students' background knowledge, and guiding students towards conceptual understanding. Still, what JASON offers is immensely valuable; connecting kids to the real world of science may be one of the most important responsibilities of a science teacher.
Design your classroom around the JASON reality show! Show the videos, talk about the scientists by name, and try the labs and field activities. Encourage your students to be Argonauts, participate in live science talks, and play the online games. You'll need to teach background information and provide practice modules, and you may want to post journal prompts on a class website. Though it may require quite a bit of extra work, including JASON in your real-world science classroom will be worth it.Continue reading Show less
JASON hooks kids by immersing them in the real world of science. Online videos introduce actual scientists in various workplaces, from government laboratories to field locations. JASON also piques kids’ interest by highlighting student participants (known on the site as Argonauts).
Units begin with a brief overview video. For example, in “Terminal Velocity” (the physics unit), the stage is set with current events and modern issues, like the Mars rover landing, or car crash safety. From here, unit content is organized into a handful of missions revolving around real world scenarios. Each mission includes text, journal prompts, and video clips, as well as labs, field assignments, and digital games that simulate scientists’ experiences.
It's important to note that the site serves as a digitized version of the print curriculum; labs aren't completed online -- while journal entries can be submitted through the site, there aren't any social tools for sharing them.
Kids crave the kind of reality that JASON provides. Video clips, live chat opportunities, and even scenarios within digital games all help plug students into the real world of science. Most field activities and classroom labs model the actual work of JASON scientists. JASON presents content within the context of real world issues -- like “monster storms” or energy use -- helping kids connect school learning to their daily world.
However, some kids might need help keeping up with JASON's content. The program could do more to help identify student preconceptions, as well as help differentiate tasks for all learners. The web interface -- including the teacher dashboard -- could be improved some to smooth out the experience of viewing assigned tasks and related curriculum. Also, an online tool to help students collect, upload, analyze, and share local data -- such as weather information or species counts -- would be an excellent addition.
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.
Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
Earth’s Place in the Universe
Evaluate evidence of the past and current movements of continental and oceanic crust and the theory of plate tectonics to explain the ages of crustal rocks.
Apply scientific reasoning and evidence from ancient Earth materials, meteorites, and other planetary surfaces to construct an account of Earth’s formation and early history.
Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.
Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.
Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system.
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-old history.
Develop a model to illustrate how Earth’s internal and surface processes operate at different spatial and temporal scales to form continental and ocean-floor features.
Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
Develop a model based on evidence of Earth’s interior to describe the cycling of matter by thermal convection.
Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth's systems result in changes in climate.
Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
Construct an argument based on evidence about the simultaneous coevolution of Earth's systems and life on Earth.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.
Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions.
Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.
Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motions of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).
Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and to the speed of an object.
Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system.
Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer.
Plan an investigation to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample.
Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Use a model to illustrate how photosynthesis transforms light energy into stored chemical energy.
Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.
Apply scientific and engineering ideas to design, evaluate, and refine a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision.
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that an electric current can produce a magnetic field and that a changing magnetic field can produce an electric current.
Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces.
Construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects.
Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact.
Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media.
Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave.
Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.