For this project, we used:
In collaboration with K-12 educators in Michigan, a team of researchers at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment (SNRE) developed a multi-part program, called “Climate Change & Michigan Forests,” to educate middle-schoolers about how climate change affects tree growth. The program is intended to teach K-12 students basic scientific data recording, analysis, and presentation techniques. Mouko was approached by Professor Michaela Zint and her team of graduate students to help them create a new website and develop a web-based scientific modeling tool to be used by middle-schoolers and their teachers.
We met weekly with a team of SNRE graduate students to flesh out website specifics. Working from specs provided by a design student, we built the site using the Drupal Content Management System, an easy-to-use platform for maintaining websites. Using a graphing system called Highcharts, we created a completely customized web page that allowed students to enter data, personalize chart appearance, and see the results animated in real time. We modified the graph system to allow exporting of the final product in as a JPEG or PNG image, or as a PDF so students could save or print their work. After creating the website framework, we met with students individually to train them in the Drupal system. The website went live soon after, in December 2014 and is now being piloted by students and teachers. A team of U-M students presented the website at a conference recently and because of its excellent reception, the U-M group is considering expanding the project to support teachers nation-wide.