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Exploring Data

Oceans of Data

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Exploring Data - All Levels || Student Center || Teachers' Place
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1998: The Year of the Ocean

WORKING WITH DATA SETS

Diving Records from the  Ocean Planet Exhibition
From Francisco Ferreras' free dive of 417 feet to the deepest spot on earth at 35,802 feet, how deep can they go?
                                                         feet   meters
free dive (Francisco Ferreras)............................417      127
deepest alga..............................................900      274
ray of light from the sun perceptive to the human eye...1,600      500
military submarine......................................2,950      900
bathysphere.............................................3,000      914
Johnson Sea Link (four-person submersible)..............3,000      914
sperm whale.............................................3,773    1,150
northern elephant seal..................................4,921    1,500
RMS Titanic's final resting place......................12,500    3,810
Alvin (three-person submersible).......................14,763    4,500
octopus................................................16,404    5,000
sponge.................................................18,500    5,639
Jason (robotic submarine)..............................19,685    6,000
Shinkai (three-person submersible).....................21,414    6,527
deepest recorded fish..................................27,460    8,370
amphipod (crab relative)...............................32,199    9,789
deepest spot on earth..................................35,802   10,912

Working with Data Sets:
Spreadsheets and Graphs

A. Download the diving data set here.

  1. for ClarisWorks
  2. for Excel: uncompressed | compressed for the Mac OS

B. ClarisWorks Spreadsheets

  1. Open the ClarisWorks Diving Data file you just downloaded. ClarisWorks will start up and you will see a display of data in feet and meters.
  2. Select several rows of cells.
  3. From the Options menu, select Make Chart.
  4. Choose the chart you wish to make ("Bar" is the default).
  5. Click on Okay. A chart will appear.
  6. Experiment by making a variety of different graphs. For more information, see Suzanne Alejandre's Graphs, ClarisWorks tutorials on making bar graphs and pie charts, changing fonts and colors, graphing linear, polynomial, and exponential functions, changing graphics in pictograms, changing icons to picts, and using Web graphics.

C. Excel Spreadsheets

  1. Open the Diving Data file for Excel.
  2. Select several rows of cells or the whole table.
  3. From the Insert menu, select Chart and "On This Sheet." You will see the cursor change to a + and bar graph. Click on the screen where you want to place your chart. ChartWizard will appear.
  4. Follow the ChartWizard directions: click Next to confirm your selected range, pick a chart type (you will be able to change this later), and select a format for that chart type. You will see a sample chart. To begin, accept the default behavior and click Next.
  5. Add the name of the chart and the titles for the X and Y axis (example: Diving Data, X = Divers, Y = Depth. Click Finish. Your chart and a chart palette will appear.
  6. To change the chart, select the chart type tool (the lefthand icon in the chart palette) to see the different charts available. Select one of them and a new chart will appear.

D. Questions for Group Discussion:

  1. Describe a plausible data set for each of the graphs pictured:

                           

  2. Are all types of graphs appropriate for all sets of data? (Explain why or why not.) How do different number increments change a graph?

    What about   [Graphs 1-2]  and  [Graphs 3-4]  and  [Graph 5]?

  3. Discuss a data collection project that you have used or might use in your classroom. In what ways does this project meet the Standards for your level and your area? (K-4, 5-8, 9-12.)

E. Questions for Newsgroup Postings:

  1. What did you learn from the small group discussion?
  2. What did you learn from the larger group discussion as you listened to people teaching at other levels?
  3. From your work today, what will you use in the classroom?


RELATED OCEAN LINKS

The Ocean Planet
See the Overview and Floor Plan for this traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.

The SeaWiFs Project
The global ocean color monitoring mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), at the Goddard Space Flight Center. SeaWiFs images and digital data are now available. See Studying Ocean Color From Space - a Teacher's Guide with Activities.

The El Niño Theme Page - NOAA
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offers everything from introductory general science to graduate school meteorological data. Beginning with the basics, the site provides a full range of illustrated articles that explain the science and impacts of this weather phenomenon. There are links to data from a moored buoy, drifting ocean buoys, satellites, and all sorts of other places. In Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

Caribbean Conservation - Sea Turtle Survival League
A site that attempts to help increase understanding of the plight of sea turtles, tropical birds, and other species in the Caribbean basin and the Costa Rican rainforest. See the Sea Turtle Migration Tracking Education Program and sea turtle data.

Tide Predictions - NOAA
The Oceanographic Products and Services Division (OPSD) of NOAA's National Ocean Service, Office of Coast Survey, collects, analyzes and distributes historical and real-time observations and predictions of water levels, coastal currents and other meteorological and oceanographic data. Tides data: San Diego, CA; Philadelphia, PA.

 
Questions? Write to the workshop facilitators.
 

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