Can Sea Turtle Movement be Predicted?

Teachers' Page

Copyright 1999 by James P. Riser


One of my goals as a science instructor is to get students doing science. To achieve this goal I often create activities which are simulations of actual scientific research. This project is exactly the type of work done by scientists around the world. Students will be using the same resources available to scientists for their research. This is not easy work. This project is not suitable for all students. Also, this project is suitable only for science instructors who are able to let their students work independently. If you are the type who needs to lecture, to be the sole source of information, and to be in total control at all times, stay away from this activity. This type of work engages and empowers students. Students must be left alone to do this research. The processes and thinking are more important here than the conclusions that the students reach. We, as science instructors, are trying to get our students to think and work like scientists.

In this project students will have the opportunity to:

The problem or question being investigated:

Is there a predictable pattern (caused by air/water temperatures, and the amount of phytoplankton in the water) to the movement of the released sea turtles?

The students' task is to determine if there is some sort of pattern and, if so, identify (describe) it. If they find there to be no pattern to the movement of the sea turtles, they must carefully explain why they have reached this conclusion. Students must document their conclusions with appropriate maps, data, etc. that they retrieve from the internet sites listed below. How students proceed with their research and present it is their decision.

Background information and getting started:

For background information on what is being done with the sea turtles, students will go to this link.

The additional links on the student page will provide the data for the student research.

Click here to go to the Students' Page.