SOS Explorer® (SOSx) and the SOS Explorer® Mobile application are tools that
can be used in many ways. In this section we describe some examples of how we
have used SOSx and provide lesson examples to help you get started.
Browse our Phenomenon-based Learning Modules (tagged as “Available
for: SOSx”) and look through the exciting phenomena that will undoubtedly
engage your students. The modules contain descriptions of phenomena like
Sailing Stones in Death Valley, CA, guiding questions, related datasets
available for SOS Explorer® and Next Generation Science Standards related to
Guiding questions and supplemental materials (.docx) were
co-created by David Sutton, Director of Boulder Center for Interactive Learning
at Dawson School and Hilary Peddicord at NOAA SOS Explorer. Use these as a
jumping off point for deeper exploration into the topics illustrated by SOSx
Nearly every student now has access to some type of mobile device. For older
students, ask them to download SOS Explorer® on a mobile device, have them take
a Tour and answer the questions on the follow-up activities or do a
scavenger hunt, go to a particular topic on our NGSS paired
Phenomenon Based Learning Modules, and answer the guiding
questions or just have them generate their own authentic questions for
discussion. Other student-led examples include the Global Climate Change and
Carbon Dioxide Lesson, where students are given instructions for loading
multiple datasets (e.g. CarbonTracker and Biosphere: Marine Chlorophyll
and Land Vegetation) and asked to make correlations between them as well as
diagrams and websites regarding climate change and the greenhouse effect.
Just as Science On a Sphere® is often used as a docent-led presentation tool,
SOS Explorer® can be used in this way. For instance, when introducing or
concluding a unit of study or a concept, a dataset can be displayed on a
projector screen or a large monitor in front of the class and discussed.
Likewise, multiple datasets can be strung together to tell a story or complete
a learning goal.
SOSx datasets can be a powerful tool for inquiry. In large part, this is
because upon first glance, SOSx datasets can be complicated. This makes them
perfect for inquiry learning and initiating deeper scientific and geographic
research topics. In addition, each SOSx dataset has a written description and
can be good practice in scientific literacy.
Combining inquiry and literacy, here are a few lesson examples in a modified
KWL format. KWL is a commonly used graphical organizer using the themes: Know,
Want to know, Learned.
Using these examples, a teacher could display the dataset, have students fill
out the boxes Know and Want to Know, come up with good questions about what
they see, read the dataset description, fill out the box Still Want to Know,
and plan a research investigation to answer one of their questions. What the
student Learned might be shared, presented or written.
Whether you’re drumming up excitement at the beginning of a lesson, leading an
authentic question generation session to gauge your students background
knowledge on a new topic, tying up a unit by summarizing what you’ve learned,
or utilizing it as a knowledge assessment visual tool — wouldn’t that be a
cool way to take a test? — SOS Explorer can bring REAL data visualization
practice to your students.