Database projects - Examples
This is an overview of existing database projects (pdf) for physics, chemistry and biology, with some also usable in geography lessons.
If you are running a database experiment, and would like to feature it here, please send all relevant details to Karl Sarnow.
Activity: Students can monitor light pollution.
Project: Globe at night
Light pollution is the illumination of the night sky caused by artificial light sources on the ground (streetlights, billboards, etc.). The difference in perception of the night sky in the countryside and in large cities comes from the ambient light. While the experience of a clear winter night sky in the countryside could be overwhelming, with thousands of stars competing in brightness and color, in the cities the outdoor lighting and the loss of contrast make it difficult to find fainter stars and nebulae. Only the brightest stars are visible when there is a lot of nighttime lighting.
This database project allows a global comparison of local light pollution by simply watching the stars in a clear night.
Activity: Students go to a river, brook or other running water source and determine the quality of the water.
Five different methods from biology and chemistry to calculate the water quality from either observation of species living in the water or measuring the concentration of critical compounds in the water. Project description is in German. Students aged 13 to 19 years old can use this project, either using the simplified "Woodiwiss" approach, or for advanced biology/chemistry students they can use the index of Saprobia, Water Quality Index and Chemical Index.
Activity: Students go to a place and measure some properties of air, water or soil.
A well organised selection of instructions for measuring the different properties. Project descriptions in Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Russian and Spanish. A ready to use database exists. Age range from 13 to 19 years, beginner level.
Activity: Students observe lichens on trees, stones or buildings. From the observations, a simple estimation of air pollution is made.
Project: BioNet AeroData
Lichens are sensitive to air pollution. So there is a simple method to get a rough estimate of the air quality by simply looking at the lichens around the location involved. The data are fed into the database. The project description is available in English and Dutch, some in Spanish. Age range is from 13 to 16 years old, for pupils of intermediate level of biology.
Activity: Students note the plants at a location under investigation.
The observed plants indicate properties of the location where they grow. The Ellenberg system is used for the determination of properties. A program exists to store the data and to calculate the average properties. Documentation is in German. Age range is from 13 to 16 years, beginner level.
Activity: Students use a Geiger counter to measure radioactivity in their environment
Project: BioNet RadioData
Students use a Geiger counter from the school and conduct their own experiment on radioactivity in their local environment. The results are logged in a database. Documentation is in English. Age range is 16 to 17 years, intermediate level of physics.
Activity: Students determine the local constant of gravity
Students measure gravity in the physics lab by one of three common methods. The results are fed into a database. Values can be used for GIS-purposes. Documentation is in English. Age range is 17 to 18 years intermediate level of physics.
BIODIVERSITY - Birds
Activity: Pupils observe birds
Pupils observe birds in a certain region and input their observations in the database. An analysis of the observed species in a region is possible. Several graph types can be selected. Documentation is in German. From 10 years up, depending on the activity. Beginners level of biology.
BIODIVERSITY – Animals and plants
Activity: Pupils observe animals and plants
Pupils do simple observation of animals or plants. Information about the animal and date and location go into the database. Images can be uploaded. Documentation in German. From 10 years up, depending on the activity. Beginners level of biology.
Activity: Pupils observe butterflies and note their occurrence.
Project:Butterflies I've seen
Pupils do simple observation of the occurrence of butterflies and feed the observations, including species, location and date/time information, into the database. Documentation is in English language. From 9 years up, depending on the activity. Beginners level of biology.