1. Classroom Prep

Classroom activities to prepare your students to sample the environment

Class preparation is essential to prepare your students for their OPIHI field trip. The OPIHI pre-field trip activities introduce your students to the intertidal and intertidal species and allow them to practice the sampling methods that will be used in the field.

SummaryThe field trip should be part of your class objectives, building on prior activities and leading to future lessons.

OPIHI has been implemented successfully with students in grades 5–12. OPIHI has also been implemented in undergraduate classrooms across the state. The length of time needed to prepare your students to collect OPIHI citizen science data will vary based on the age of your students (younger students generally need more preparation and practice time). The longer your classroom periods, the less days will need to be devoted to each preparation activity.

The essential OPIHI pre-field trip lessons include:

  • Intro to OPIHI: A overview presentation of the project for students
  • Water quality activity: An overview presentation on water quality and activity on utilizing water quality instruments (can be combined with Intro to OPIHI):
  • Intro to sampling activity: Sample a bag of M&Ms
  • Sampling for abundance activity: Learn the OPIHI protocol and practice using the OPIHI equipment while conducting a survey of a mock intertidal site
  • Intro to algae identification activity: Learn the dominant algae species at your intertidal site

The essential OPIHI sequence, including field-trip and post field-trip activities, is 8-12 days. The following timeline assumes class periods of 50 minutes.

Activity Intro to OPIHI & Water Quality Intro to Sampling Sampling for Abundance Intro to Algae Identification Student Preparation for Field Trip Field Trip Algae Voucher & Data Entry Data Analysis
# of Days 1–2 1 1–2 1 1 1 1 1–3

Some of the essential activities include optional extensions (e.g., practicing sampling for abundance with photoquadrats). You can also introduce your students to OPIHI, and immerse them in the intertidal, with an OPIHI virtual reality field trip.

The optional sampling for richness activity can be conducted prior to, or after, the OPIHI field trip to emphasize how effort, the number of people in the field and the time spent searching, can influence the number of species found at a site. Example assessments are also included.