There is probably much inspiration to be drawn from the Lawrence Hall of Science GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science) unit, Environmental Detectives. This has some nice relatively-low-budget real-world laboratory experiments which could go along with the unit.
Homunq 10:40, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
Lin, this proposal looks great. I like the section you added on inspiration -- I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out! --pdubroy 19:56, 8 April 2008 (EDT)
Possibility of integrating real-world instruments/measurements
Now that I see your proposal, it looks great. However, it would certainly make it more real to the kids if a teacher could prepare some of the activities for real hands-on labs, in the context of the game. Again, I suggest you look at the lawrence hall of science GEMS website, the environmental detectives unit, to see if you can get an idea from any of the handouts they have there what the actual experiments they are doing are. Simple ph measurement can be done with red cabbage or hibiscus flowers; chromatography just needs paper and water; turbidity is easy to measure; and even macroinvertebrates don't take any expensive equipment to collect or classify. Things like total dissolved solids would be great if OLPC develops a cheap, uncalibrated microscale kit using Measure.
188.8.131.52 14:56, 14 April 2008 (EDT)