Landform Investigation

Posted: November 4, 2011 in Science

Much like professional scientists, our class had some questions about landforms, erosion and deposition. So, we set out to find out “What Happens If”.

Students started by thinking about “How will changes in a river will affect erosion and deposition?”. Individually they came up with something they wondered about, a problem to investigate.

They then brought their idea to their science teams. As a group they chose one idea that they wanted to investigate. The investigation had to follow a scientific procedure. So they developed a problem, a hypothesis and a subsequent experiment to test the hypothesis.

Some of the problems they wanted to investigate were:

-What happens if the source of water starts on top of a mountain that floods

-How do dams change the flow of a river and the resulting deposition and erosion.

-How can do multiple dikes in a river affect the formation of deltas

-If blocked by a dam will a stream flow through a mountain or will it break through the dam (very popular choice)

-How does a flood affect a flood plain, even when streams are having their flow directed

They then developed a hypothesis, a materials list and a sequential procedure that had to be in my words “super, crazy specific”.

They then carried out their experiment and recorded the results. Some of our hypothesis were not nearly what we thought would happen but it was great to learn from.

The attached pictures show some of our before and after work.

Next week we will present our findings!


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  1. As a stream restoration specialist, I am so excited that this subject is being explored by 5th graders. Fluvial geomorphology is an amazing science. The beauty is that – the study of streams involves being IN streams….wonder if you could arrange a field trip?

    Please let me know if you need anything! This is very encouraging!

    Jacqueline S. Levine
    Stream Restoration Specialist

    • codyhowitt says:

      Dear Jacque and Kristen,

      Thank you so much for coming to our class blog, it is really exciting for us on a number of levels. We are so excited to have professional scientist write to us. Additionally some of the girls were thrilled to see women scientists. You have provided us a REAL WORLD connection to what we learn in class and that is so valuable, thank you again.

      Mr. Howitt’s 5th grade.

      • Interestingly enough, Chicks with Ticks work hard to empower girls in science and the outdoors. We enlighten all who have never stepped foot in the forest and those who need new creative ways to enjoy it. We encourage all to get outdoors, tromp around, take photos, get dirty…With Chicks with Ticks – you can go anywhere!

        I am available to you if you need me. We studies Florida streams and their fluvial functions for almost 5 years. We have created streams for post-mining projects. Some streams we created with hydraulic carving! very fascinating.

        Of course, in understanding a stream, you must also understand the natural functions ot the morphology or channel shape, slope, valley, etc. Then you can dig into the biology of a stream. It’s something we are passionate about.

        We have an all girl/woman team that brave some pretty wild places! i would be glad to help in any way!

        Jacqueline S. Levine
        Stream Restoration Specialist

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hello. Our names are Gisela, Breeyana, Daniel, and Alejandro. We’re from Mr.Miller’s class. We liked how you investigated this land form creation. We wish we were there in person to do this project. It looks fun! 🙂

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