Ambal SMPN 1 Students Conduct Research
The students in grade 7A at SMPN 1 Ambal, Kebumen were learning about rain and their social science teacher wanted to make a lesson in which the students themselves would have to find data relating to rainfall levels in each of their villages.
First, each student made their measuring instrument which was made from a milk or bread can and a ruler. The instruments were placed in an open but safe area. Every day the amount of rain was measured and recorded in a book. The measurements were taken over a period of 4 weeks, from week 2 till week 5 in March 2005.
These results were then discussed in class in groups based upon their individual villages. They then drew up tables and a chart showing the rain levels for each village at Ambal sub-district. On the right is a report written by Vima Kusuma Putri, a Grade 7A student of SMPN 1 Ambal
Photos (below & right)
- Vima measuring the rain level in front of her house
- Intan’s daily rainfall data record
- The data and graph of Entak village's rainfall
- The Sumberjati village group showing their data and graph
- Ibu Listyani who showed creativity in teaching Social Science.
Comment: This type of activity is consistent with PAKEM / CTL learning methodologies which are really contextual, i.e. interesting and meaningful for the students. The students learned collecting, recording, and analyzing data skills. The learning was conducted over a long period and included some simple research.
Are there other schools that want to do this? The lesson should be developed further on the theme of "Rain", and discuss other related things, such as ‘Why does rain occur?’, ‘Why is there a wet and dry season?’ The study could be continued for the whole year to compare differences between the seasons.
Akhirudin, a grade 7A student's reaction: "I want to be an expert in meteorology".
Measuring Rainfall Levels
Geography grade 7A students received a task from Ms. Listyani, who is our class teacher and geography and social science teacher, to bring in instruments to measure rainfall levels.
We made a simple rain gauge from an aqua bottle with its neck cut off, with a small bottle placed inside which was connected to the inverted neck of the bottle using a drinking straw. A picture of the simple rain gauge is shown in the photograph top left.
After successfully making the simple rain gauge, we then needed to think about how to measure with it because the bottom of the bottle is not flat. We solved this and completed the construction, using a milk can.
We were given the task of measuring the rain levels in each of our villages. When I got home, I searched for a milk can and I found one at the back of my house, I cleaned it up and removed the upper cover. Put the can next to our well (in an open area) and I just left it.
The next morning I saw that the can had water inside. According to my mother there was some rainfall the previous night. So I collected a palm leaf rib, a ruler, and a notebook. Firstly, I dipped the palm leaf rib into the can, then ifted it out and immediately measured the length of the wet palm leaf rib using a ruler. The length of the wet stem was only 2 mm. This meant that the previous night’s rain was not heavy.
I took measurements from Saturday 5 March until Saturday 12 March 2005. At the end of the measurement period, the second week of March, the results were entered into a table and checked by Ibu Listyani. We were asked to continue the measurements until the fourth week, and then we were asked to get into groups of students from the same village.
This group was then asked to record the raifall in a table which indicated the rain levels in our village, Ambalresmi. The method we used was that each student wrote down their results and sum of these was calculated each week. The final results were entered into a graph.
After we had finished we gave our work to Ibu Listyani in a manila folder that we decorated so that it would be more attractive. We really enjoyed the task because we could learn new skills through practical work.
Written by Vima Kusuma Putri, a Grade 7A student in SMPN 1 Ambal
Supervisor Joins Teaching Practice
When the teaching practice was being conducted at Ambal, a school supervisor joined in the practical teaching. Ibu Sri Kuwati taught grade 6 at SD Pasar Senin Ambal (not Jakarta!). See the photo, left. The learning activities were very successful. Congratulations to Ibu Sri!