What Do Metrologists Do?
Lesson 5 of 9
Objective: Students will learn about metrologists by using some of their practices in the classroom and watching a video.
The students gather on the carpet to start this lesson. I tell my students to "Think about the words in the title of the scientist's job - metrologists. Can you determine what this scientists does based on the job title or name?"
As our science lessons continue, I encourage my students build upon what they are learning. If they are able to internalize the new information about science and the various types of scientists, I began to see growth. My students start to use a scientific vocabulary. In fact, they began to think like scientists.
Using what they know, my students began to express their understanding of what a metrologist does in the world of science.
The students will view a Sid the Science Kid video about measurement. I selected the video because the kindergarteners will understand the job of the metrologists via measurement . This lesson begins on the carpet. After the video I asks questions about what we have seen. For example, the metrologists in the video told what three areas they study: physical, chemical, and electrical measurement. I ask the students, "What practices do we use in the classroom that are like the metrologists?" The students share their answers with their shoulder partner.
I reiterate that precision in measuring time, distance, temperature, mass, and voltage is critical. A metrologist must be very good at math and science. I ask the students for a tumbs-up if their shoulder buddy said one of the practices I lists. Finally, I say "Why are these practices important?" A few students are allow to share with the group. Then we create an "Important Practices Chart" that will remain on the wall throughout the duration of the unit.
Now that the students know what a metrologist does, they have an opportunity to experience their job. The students use a variety of tools for measuring. I have four length stations setup: students will measure various classroom objects using paper clips, unifix cubes, Gummie Worms, and a ruler Before the students move to the tables, I will say, "Take a close look at how the materials are arranged on the table. You must put the station items back neatly before rotating to the next table." The students will transition from the carpet to the tables by teams. The students explore at each of the four stations for total of five minutes. I will use the ENO Board for a timer and a bell will ring at the end of five minutes. Once the bell rings, I will remind the students to tidy their station before giving the instruction to rotate.
Because measurement has not been officially studied by my kindergarteners, they may not have the schema necessary to fully comprehend measurement. Therefore, prior to beginning rotations, I model how to conduct each investigation without giving detail to the outcomes. In fact, the purpose of the investigation is to explore as metrologists do. If students extend their thinking to the realm of discovering accurate outcomes, I will certainly celebrate their accomplishments with the class.
Each station will have its materials on cookie sheets in separate areas of the table. The rectangled tables will have a partnership at each end of the table and one partnership in the middle of the table. This set up allows me to manage student behavior and easily view all the partnerships at one time. I will also prompt students to discuss various aspects of measurement at each station especially the capacity station because this concept is often difficult for young children to understand.
At this point in the school year, measurement has not been studied by my kindergarteners. Because I do not think they have the schema to fully understand measurement as an abstract concept, I am going to put the concept in every day terms by reading How Big is A Foot by Rolf Myller.
After I read the entire story to my students, I will allow them to share with their shoulder buddy what they have learned.
In the Elaborate segment of the lesson, we review the job of a metrologist. I tell the students, "Continue to explore the different types of scientists. When we have friend time in the classroom or when you visit your local library. Think about your future, now!"
"I ask if anyone has any pressuring thoughts they would like to share with the group." Finally, I end the lesson by drawing a picture of a metrologist at work. I ask my students to name items that a metrologist could measure.