Lewis & Clark Mini-Project
Ingomar Middle School, North Allegheny School District
John Schaefers – Teacher
Grades – 6-8 Science

Concept/Big Idea:
Students will explore the river stages today as compared to stages in the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1803.

  • The river classification system, drought conditions maps, remote sensing images, river gages and discharges, and maps of rivers from Pittsburgh to the Missouri River.
  • Students will research science contributions to the mission.
  • Students will compare mapping from 1803 to today.
  • Students will research the struggles and successes of the Corps of discovery. 

PA Standards:

3.1           Unifying Themes
3.1.7.A    Explain the parts of a simple system and tier relationship to each other.
3.1.7.B    Describe the use of models as an application of scientific or technological concepts.
3.1.7.C    Identify patterns as repeated processes or recurring elements in science and technology
3.1.7.D    Explain scale as a way of relating concepts and ideas to one another by some measure.
3.1.7.E    Identify change as a variable in describing natural and physical systems.
3.2           Inquiry and Design
3.2.7.A    Explain and apply scientific and technological knowledge.
3.2.7.B    Apply process knowledge to make and interpret observations.
3.4           Physical Sciences, Chemistry and Physics
3.4.7.A    Describe concepts about the structure and properties of nature.
3.5           Earth Sciences
3.5.7.B    Recognize earth resources and how they affect everyday life.
3.5.10.A  Relate earth features and processes that change the earth.
3.5.10.C  Interpret meteorological data
3.5.10.D  Assess the value of water as a resource.
3.6           Technology Education
3.6.7.A    Explain biotechnologies that relate to related technologies of propagating,
                 growing, maintaining, adapting, treating, and converting.
3.7           Technological Devices
3.7.7.A    Describe the safe and appropriate use of tools, materials, and techniques to
                 answer questions and solve problems.
3.7.7.B    Use appropriate instruments and apparatus to study materials.
3.7.7.C    Explain and demonstrate basic computer operations and concepts.
3.7.7.D    Apply computer software to solve specific problems.
3.7.10.D  Utilize computer software to solve specific problems.
3.8            Science, Technology, and Human Endeavors
3.8.7        Explain how human integrity and technological resources satisfy human needs
                 and improve the quality of life.

1.    Students will printout a local river stage and one from out west on Lewis & Clark’s list.
2.    Students will complete the online handout.
3.    Students will read about the journey in 1803.
4.    Students will interpret river discharge and gage.
5.    Students will describe river patterns.
6.    Students will compare recent climate with 1803’s climate.
7.    Students will compare maps of 1803 and today.
8.    Students will analyze the Corps of Discovery struggles west and the results of their contributions.

Introduction and homepages:

Second: Online worksheet

Instructional Strategy:  Science, Technology & Society by Green Design
Cooperative Learning: working in lab groups
Class discussion
Small group discussion: lab tables
Collaborative learning
           The method of delivery will be utilization of computer technology.

Computers with Internet access
Lewis & Clark: John Schaefers Ingomar Middle School Earth & Space Science 8th Grade
SciEd.net - Lewis & Clark Project
Lewis & Clark video (if needed for general introduction)

(4) 42 min labs in computer room
Video presentation of Lewis & Clark Pittsburgh connection
42 min total time for Class discussions
Remote sensing images to view and other maps
Satellite information
Other Lewis & Clark materials

Lewis & Clark: John Schaefers Ingomar Middle School Earth & Space Science 8th Grade
SciEd.net - Lewis & Clark Project

Related sites:
NASA ISS EarthKam: http://www.earthkam.ucsd.edu/
Geology Labs: http://vcourseware5.calstatela.edu/VirtualRiver/
USGS The Learning Web: http://Interactive2.usgs.gov/learningweb/textonly/teachers/explormaps_lesson1.htm