The Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing System [HRECOS] posts near real-time data to the World Wide Web from remote sensor installations along the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers. It is an outstanding resource for promoting systems thinking, STEM skills, using data to pose and answer questions, and stepping from local real time data to broader Big Data sets. Coupled to field experiences, HRECOS data can put student-collected results in a larger system context. Where field trips are being eliminated, HRECOS can provide a virtual alternative.
Engagement with HRECOS fits into the National Research Council’s three “dimensions” for framing K-12 science education: scientific and engineering practices; crosscutting concepts; and core disciplinary ideas in science. It can help students fulfill Common Core standards – for example, making “strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations” and presenting “information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning…”
The growing number of HRECOS stations aid Hudson Valley teachers committed to place-based education; they can study phenomena taking place near their own communities. Compared to other sensor networks, it is relatively user-friendly. Through workshops and one-on-one consultation, Hudson River Estuary Program staff are available to facilitate engagement with the network.
Visit www.hrecos.org to view the resources available through HRECOS.