Welcome to Project Crystal! During this virtual program, you and your students are invited to help UC Irvine, Crystal Cove State Park, and Crystal Cove Conservancy study the best way to help seedlings grow.  Project Crystal participants will learn about the real-life challenges we face in protecting Moro Canyon as they investigate scientific questions, design a model, set up an experiment, analyze data, and finally create a recommendation for Crystal Cove State Park.

How to Join

If you are a new teacher and would like to run Project Crystal through your own online learning platform, please complete this survey and let us know!

Program Overview

Project Crystal is designed to address Next Generation Science Standards for fifth grade, includes concepts such as plant ecology, the water cycle, and how we can use science ideas to protect our wild places.

The online distance learning version of the program is divided into twelve sessions, which consist of 60-90 minutes of investigations, including an optional Explore at Home extension. The twelve sessions include:

Within each session, you can expect to find the following sections:

  • Introduction: A short Google Slides presentation with 4-5 slides, with a video introducing the session topic, a outline of the session’s activities, learning objectives, and materials needed.
  • Investigation: Short activities ranging from 30-60 minutes in length, exploring the main topic of the session.  Each Investigation also includes an accompanying Science Notebook page, which can be set up as a Google Document.
  • Dig Deeper: Includes additional background reading, videos, and other media to learn more about a particular topic.
  • Explore at Home Extension: This section includes standalone activities that students can take part in at home to relate what they’re learning about with Crystal Cove State Park to their own home or neighborhood.  As much as possible, we’ve tried to include options for students who may not be able to access the outside.
  • Discussion: A reflection prompt that students can respond to, helping to connect their investigations with the broader research topic.  If you are hosting files on Google Classroom, we suggest setting these up as a Question post so that students can post their thoughts publicly and respond to others in your class.  You can also set up a Flipgrid or other online platform.

We are currently working on translating more documents and videos into Spanish, which will be uploaded as they are available!

Please feel free to use and adapt any materials that you find here.  You are welcome to use any parts of the lessons, whether as stand-alone activities or as part of the full curriculum.  However, we do ask that you credit Crystal Cove Conservancy as you adapt and share them.

If you have any questions or need anything in a different format, please reach out to Kaitlin by emailing kaitlin@crystalcove.org!

Resources for Returning Teachers

Resources for New Teachers

Session 1: Welcome to Moro Canyon

Teacher Overview for Session 1

Session 2:  Moro Canyon’s Changing Landscape

Teacher Overview for Session 2

Session 3: Introduction to Our Research Project

Teacher Overview for Session 3

Session 4: Designing a Model

Teacher Overview for Session 4

Session 5: Thinking About Plants & Water

Teacher Overview for Session 5

Session 6: Thinking About Photosynthesis

Teacher Overview for Session 6

Session 7: Thinking About the Water Cycle

Teacher Overview for Session 7

Session 8:  Revising Our Model & Making a Hypothesis

Teacher Overview for Session 8

Session 9: Designing the Study & Collecting Data

Teacher Overview for Session 9

Session 10: Analyzing & Graphing Data

Teacher Overview for Session 10

Session 11: Constructing a Recommendation

Teacher Overview for Session 11

Session 12: Sharing Our Findings

Teacher Overview for Session 12

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