ImageJ-Tedious Research but Cool Tool to Teach Math and Science!

I began working with Avery on her Oyster Predator/Prey research last week.  After helping set up a lab, Avery invited me to help her cross check some of her data for her research: surface area of the oyster shells.  I met up with Avery later in the week and I learned to use a cool tool to help calculate surface area of oyster shells.  During the very easy but tedious process I thought about all the ways my fifth grade teachers could use this free program to integrate technology into their area and perimeter units!

Who We Are

Cheryl V. for Avery's research project

What We Did

After Avery showed me how to use the ImageJ software in her office, I took the flash drive with all the needed files home and sat down ready to knock it out in a few hours.  Boy was I wrong!  The task is not difficult but very tedious.  You have several precise steps to take just to measure the surface area of one oyster shell.


What We Learned

I have learned that you need a good mouse to be able to accurately trace the shell!  However, I have analyzed about 100 pictures which is a little less than half and look forward to the rest of the work.

Overall, I have realized just how much work and how many hours really go into an intense research study like this.  The man hours are unbelievable and the intricate details that have to been seen to can be overwhelming at times I am sure!

All of this makes me miss science teaching and actually taking science classes and doing this kind of research of my own!


Questions We Have

What other free technology programs are out there to help teachers integrate more technology into math and science?

On Avery’s project…I wonder how many oysters she will have to measure over the course of her research and where did the oysters go?  Did they have oysters on the half shell?  Just kidding!

Connections to Teaching

This process has gotten my brain working on how to integrate more technology into the classrooms.  I think 5th graders would love being able to use this program to measure surface area of objects and then compare their findings to more traditional methods of calculating area. Also a great tool for science!

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