Archive | January, 2018

Errata – Brief List of Revisions to Errors in the 1st Printing of Beyond the Classroom Aquarium & An Occassionally Updated Listing of Project Ideas to Consider for Use in the Next Edition of the Book

17 Jan

Though the few errors discovered in the earliest printing of Beyond the Classroom Aquarium were repaired in later printings, this list provides clarification for those who are reading/using a first printing.

  1. Page 2: should read: “is provided on page 338” – instead of “on page 351.” This text is five lines above the table on page two.
  2. Page 7: “(see page 59)” should have been inserted at the end of the second sentence on the page – line six would then read: “…such an investigation in a scientifically productive manner (see page 59).”
  3. The final paragraph on page 10 has been modified to address an earlier misplaced punctuation mark – a period. The last paragraph on page ten should now read as follows:

Beyond the technologically-oriented and carefully managed individualized math lab (with competency-based lessons), a number of projects in Beyond the Classroom Aquarium provide opportunities for students to gain first-hand experience working with a programmable logic controller (PLC) to develop and implement highly automated control system tasks. As students design, construct, and maintain aquatic ecosystems, development of a fuller awareness of potential PLC applications is encouraged.

Activities related to student development of computer-automated control systems are based on a model system that used older Macintosh computers, as described in a paper titled: A Computer Automated Cold Water Recirculating System for Research in Aquaculture (Rust, 1996). Information from more recent papers that describe the design and development of low cost PLC workbenches for education purposes (Kheiralla, 2007; Dickinson and Johnson, 2006), and a generous PLC donation from Rockwell Automation, provided the final pieces of information needed to ensure that (after successfully completing activities related to the design and assembly of a microalgae and rotifer culture system and completing suggested introductory PLC activities), students engaging in Beyond the Classroom Aquarium projects will be well informed as they are guided through a culminating computer automation activity in which they develop one or more operational computer-automated plankton (copepod) culture and collection system.

The above points are corrected in the edition now available online at the Beyond the Classroom Aquarium’s Kindle Direct Publishing (via Amazon) site.

Listed below are comments and additional items for inclusion in future editions of #BtheCA.

  • An additional fieldtrip – to precede ecosystem design projects – could be useful to effectively guide students to consider greenhouse tables and shelve design and construction. Safety in all project work is of primary importance. Thus an early field trip to reinforce safe, stable, proper design and assembly practices may well be the most essential foeld trip of all those described in this curriculum.
  • At the conclusion of each project (in each assessment/evaluation activity section of the book) students/teams might also be asked to produce a documented developmental timeline of their project and a reflection on the process – including what they might do differently, what was most helpful and should there ever be a “next time” what might have made the process less difficult.
  • Designing and installing a DIY greywater reuse system is another supplementary system component extension project relating to water usage and recycling of water used in various projects such as aquaponics and school gardens. Also reusing water obtained from sinks during cleaning lab materials, towels, rags etc will contribute greatly to the authentic economy of every day project work.
  • Place a much larger emphasis on simultaneity / concurrency of projects – particularly projects 3, 4, 5 and projects 7, 8 & 9; also research projects 10 as well as team community service projects 12 and advanced tech project designs (project 13). Focusing on student voice, agency, engagement, personalization, etcetera. For example with proper prep and support the lead teacher could guide students/teams and classes through the 14 project sequence in accordance with the nonlinear options listed below.

OPTIONAL PROJECT SEQUENCE A   or     OPTIONAL PROJECT SEQUENCE B.

  • Project 1                                                         * Project 1
  • Project 2                                                         * Project 2
  • Project 3, 4 & 5                                              * Project 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8
  • Projects 6, 7 & 8                                             * Project  9
  • Projects 9                                                        * Projects 10
  • Project 10                                                        * Project 11
  • Project 11                                                        * Project 12
  • Team Projects 12                                            * Project 13
  • Advanced Design Projects 13                      * Project 14
  • Project 14

Udated 3/1/2020

When opportunities arise encourage students to explore, write about, present and apply ideas related to “lab safe” (organic) substances they may produce or obtain that serve to reduce pest problems they encounter in any system they work with. In relation to aquaponics such substances may include but are not limited to: diatomaceous earth (do not breath diatomaceous powder – ensure limited respiratory exposure), pyrythrin, neem oil, spinosad, B.T., pure soap solutions, compost tea, and even flour.

Similar exploration, write-up, discussion & reporting would also be useful in relation to developing a deeper understaning of water analysis as it relates to the history & development of measurement scales for: pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), turbidity, salinity electro-conductivity, biological oxygen demand (BOD), softness, hardness, alkalinity and a variety of other chemicals and ions.

I believe it is also important to emphasize, with physically well-placed labels and posters, the plethora of measurements and types of materials & equipment that are in operation every day in classroom aquatic ecosystems (in addition to labels for identifying every living specimen). This includes well placed posters with information about geometric shapes, dimensions and volume calculations. Also many standard conversion tables would be extremely useful in all areas where students are performing such tasks in order to set and maintain a classroom ecosystem.

Reinforce the idea that introductory activities in this curriculum may provide powerful baseline assessment against which to gauge what full student engagement could look and feel like.

The state of 3-D printing has become much more mainstream since first writing this curriculum. As such I would like to supplement the microscope/optics project with additional project opportunities to review, design & assemble not only 3-D printers and filament recycling equipment but to also 3-D print and assemble actual microscopes via open source files many of which are accesdible on github. Links may be readily discovered online. While the importance of microscopy to student participation in Beyond the Classroom Aqurrium is as essential as ever, development of new activities related to the 3-D printing of microscope components may serve to reduce budget costs associated with design and assembly of old-school microscopes will be reduced. While the optics activities seemscas relevant as ever, future editions of Beyond the Classroom Aquarium will be able to be printed without the need for plans showing how to build a microscope by hand..

Also, in future editions it will be useful to generate five images and corresponding text, directly aligned with curriculum projects (possibly a few more) to replace images and text in the first edition of Beyond the Classroom Aquarium that I paid for permission to include in the book. Further activities, assessments and assignments asking students to create their own ecosystem story and corresponding paint-by-number drawing should be included in the post project one assessment pages.

Along with other extensions and assessments related to plants produced in the aquaponics project, include opportunities to produce essential oils and other related products via the laboratory process of steam distillation. I’ll list below a bibliography of useful literature below including two files that provides a related lesson plan.

  • Biorenewables Education Laboratory Essential Oils, Summer Academy Student Guide – JB/CB 2011 – Essential Oils from Steam Distillation – _brl_files_2011_10_brl_essentialoils.pdf
  • Steam distillation modeling for essential oil extraction process – 2013-12-23 –
    industrialcropsandproducts 29 (2009) 171–176
    E. Cassel a,∗, R.M.F. Vargas a, N. Martinez b, D. Lorenzo b, E. Dellacassa b – a Laboratório de Operac¸ ões Unitárias, Engineering Faculty, PUCRS, Av. Ipiranga 6681, CEP 90619-900, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil – b Cátedra de Farmacognosia y Productos Naturales, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la Republica, Avda. General Flores 2124, CP – 1800Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Extraction_methods_natural_essential_oil.pdf
  • STEAM EXTRACTION OF ESSENTIAL OILS: INVESTIGATION OF PROCESS PARAMETERS – By John Tshilenge Kabijba; A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Chemical Engineering Technology, University of Johannesburg, South Africa for the Fullfillment of the Degree of Magister Technologiae: Chemical Engineering Technology, February, 2009
  • M. Hauser; Isolation of Essential Oils By Steam Distillation; S ’08: A brief lesson format. PDF file.
  • F Chemat, Avignon University, Avignon, France; C Boutekedjiret, Ecole Nationale Polytechnique, Alger, Alge´rie ã 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285643201 – Extraction // Steam Distillation – Chapter · December 2015
    DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-409547-2.11557-4r
  • FLAVOUR AND FRAGRANCE JOURNAL, VOL. 4.43-44 (1989); Microwave Oven Extraction of an Essential Oil
    A. A. Craveim, F. J. A. Matos and J. W. Alencar; Laboratorio de Produtos Naturais, Universidade Federal do Ceara. Cuixa Postal 3010, Fortalera, Ceara, Brazil
    M. M. Plumel – Facultk dc Phamacu de Paris, Frunce
  • Training Manual on Extraction Technology of Natural Dyes & Aroma Therapy and Cultivation Value Addition of Medicinal Plants; November 2-4, 2011, FRI, Dehradun 1; GETTING FRAGRANCE FROM PLANTS; Rakesh Kumar and Y.C. Tripathi; Chemistry Division, Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun – 248 006, India; Email: tripathiyc@gmail.com, rakesh@icfre.org
  • A Microwave-Assisted Simultaneous Distillation and Extraction Method for the Separation of Polysaccharides and Essential Oil from the Leaves of Taxus chinensis Var. mairei
    Chunjian Zhao 1,2,3, Xin He 1,2, Chunying Li 1,2,*, Lei Yang 1,2, Yujie Fu 1,2,3, Kaiting Wang 1,2
    Yukun Zhang 1,2 and Yujiao Ni 1,;2 © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
  • Essential Oil Extraction using Liquid CO2
    This lesson plan was based on a laboratory experiment McKenzie, Lallie C.; Thompson, John E.; Sullivan, Randy; Hutchison, James E. Green chemical processing in the teaching laboratory: a convenient liquid CO2 extraction of natural products. Green Chemistry (2004), 6(8), 355-358.

I also believe students could discover many uses for apps/software that enable them to design and produce their own printed circuits boards (PCB) – as discussed in project 13 supplementary resources about creating a unique system for raising clownfish.

I further think that use of large quantities of cardboard could be useful for producing (mock ups of) physical representations of various ecosystem components and devices.

A primary vision in writing this curriculum was to pave a unique “makerspace” path for educators and school systems where programs of this type might not yet exist. In consideration of the output of the students work on these projects – over time – I imagine it will become necessary to consider ways to recycle – possibly for parts & components (or donate) many of the systems student teams design and assemble each year. So, I would like to suggest that efforts to “recycle” aquatic ecosystems be documented and included in project 14 exhibits and assessment.

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