Student Projects & Special Events
Blue Oak Regeneration Field Study
Although Circle J-Norris Ranch is dotted with Blue Oak trees, there are very few blue oak saplings. What could be preventing the seedlings from maturing to the sapling stage? Chris O'Brien from Springville Union Elementary School developed a Blue Oak Regeneration Field Study. The 7th- and 8th-grade students from Springville School are participating in a hands-on field science study to determine what factors could be causing blue oak seedling mortality. Using various treatments to apply to the seedlings, the students will be able to determine what factors relate to the mortality of the blue oak saplings.
High School Field Science Weekend
(annual event in January)
Professional field scientists and teachers lead students in hands-on field science research and investigations focusing on the ecology and grazing management of Heron Pond. Students perform data collection during three scheduled field sessions and become experts in one of the six studies: soils, water quality, wildlife, grazing, plant diversity, and aquatic life. Participants are housed and fed by SCICON and are involved in leadership development, an evening program of stargazing led by the Tule River Amateur Astronomers.
Where does our water come from? Where does it go? How can we assess the quality of water? How can we help keep our water clean? Tulare City Schools send their 7th graders to Circle J to study the watershed and to test the waters. Using a watershed model, handheld water quality probes and microscopes, students investigate the water of Heron Pond and identify factors related to water quality. This multi-faceted study encourages students to think about water in new ways, to participate in scientific inquiry, to apply technology, and to reflect on the watershed as a system.
(Global Learning and Observation Benefiting the Environment)
The GLOBE program is an exciting, hands-on worldwide science education project sponsored by NASA, NSF and the State Department. Students perform scientific investigations of soil, hydrology, land cover, weather and atmosphere, and upload their data to the GLOBE website. This is a great way to address the Investigation and Experimentation Science Standards while introducing the students to field science methods.
Native Plant Propagation & Rehabilitation
Student groups will be propagating plants from local stock to be used for habitat enhancement projects planned for the Circle J-Norris Ranch pond and stream area. The pond and stream will be fenced off to allow the trees, shrubs and plants to grow and provide cover for nesting birds. Students will be collecting native plant seeds and clippings for propagation. They will also be involved in the design, budgeting and creation of the native plant gardens and rehabilitation project.
Tulare County Office of Education
Circle J - Norris Ranch
P.O. Box 339, Springville, CA 93265
Nancy Bruce, Lead Teacher
Dianne Shew, SCICON Administrator
(559) 539-2263 • fax: (559) 539-2369
Jim Vidak, County Superintendent of Schools
Tulare County Office of Education
All mail to: P.O. Box 5091, Visalia, CA 93278-5091
Physical address: 6200 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia, CA 93277
phone: (559) 733-6300 • fax: (559) 627-5219
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