• Motivation: scientists use logbooks to record their activities and observations, and our students can too, and learn how it's done. A logbook is an important part of learning by inquiry. A logbook is a specific kind of document.

  • An electronic version allows for communication between collaborators, and a record of an investigation which is more widely accessible than a physical book.

  • The "old-fashioned" physical logbook is also of great value, and students could be introduced to the idea this way. You can get a composition book at Staples for 99 cents during back-to-school sales, and not much more during the rest of the year. (In contrast, the black books many people carry around at FNAL are about $15 each if you buy in bulk, and I've seen them listed on-line at $90/each!) Many classes in high-school require students to keep a "journal", and that's basically what a logbook is, a "journal" of your scientific journey.

Might overlap with writing or literacy requirements?

  • Examples of "logbooks", journals, or log entries which our students might be familiar with (even if they have not seen the actual documents):
    • Journals of Captains Lewis and Clark on the "Journey of Discovery". Lewis also kept a separate journal of astronomical observations. See http://lewisandclarkjournals.unl.edu/index.html , where you can read transcriptions or view images of original manuscripts.
    • Journal of Charles Darwin (and there would be a separate ship's log for HMS Beagle) [link?]
    • Journal of Captain Cook (and there would be separate ship's logs for each ship) [link?]
    • "Captain's Log, stardate 24097.6, James T. Kirk reporting..." (Kids today may not get the reference. Younger teachers too? I just recently learned that the voyages of Star Trek were modeled after the voyages of Captain Cook.)
    • The first computer bug -- a moth in a relay of the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator while it was being tested at Harvard University, 9 September 1945.
    • DØ Online Logbook https://www-d0online.fnal.gov/crlw/Index.jsp?inquiry=%2FCRLWindex%2F2_Hr_All_Entries
    • The "chart" which doctors maintain for a patient in the hospital is actually a journal of symptoms, test results, and treatment for the patient.

Might want to build on the "Journey of Discovery" theme? At least for the Hanford area?

  • LIGO e-Log (sometimes also called the "ilog", since that is the name of the software) for the detectors at Hanford and Livingston are available (read-only) to anybody on the Internet. They are terse and hard to read. They are the real deal. (Same goes for DØ logs) Links (The username is "reader" with password "readonly"):

What is the best use of these for e-Labs?

  • A LIGO logbook entry which may be of particular interest as an example and as the potential beginning of an interesting investigation using the seismometers can be found here (username: reader / password: readonly)

  • A list of other ideas for investigations, some of which may require digging through the LIGO e-Logs, may be found at http://i2u2.spy-hill.net/glossary/index.php/LIGO_e-Lab_ideas . In particular, #10 (What is the smallest earthquake which can knock the LIGO interferometers out of lock?) would require students to go through the Hanford e-Log to see when lock was lost, and perhaps to verify that it was attributed to seismic activity (operator comments often say so and they follow up with USGS info).

  • Einstein@Home (and any other BOINC-based project) has "discussion forums" [sic] where participants can interact with other participants, as well as project developers and administrators. Has been good for encouraging participation and outreach. Forums are arranged in Categories > Forums > Threads.

  • There is a striking similarity between some of the discussions in these forums and a scientific logbook, especially the discussions involving troubleshooting or debugging (since these are a kind of investigation)

  • Eric took the discussion forum software used by Einstein@Home and modified it to add capabilities important for use as a logbook:
    • Removed ablity to sort threads newest to oldest. Logbooks are always in chronological order.
    • Automatic jump to last entry if thread has been read (BOINC already jumps to first unread)
    • Reduced time limit for revisions from 1 hr to 15 min.
    • Added iterative preview-before-post capability
    • Added file attachments (graphs, printouts, anything), with captions, and
    • Added keyword classification of postings (potentially useful for tagging milestones? or more general? or both?)

What is the best use of this for e-Labs? Or is this just a demonstration of the principles?

  • Some examples of the time development of an investigation using this discussion/logbook are:
    • Baseball e-Lab - are all major league ballparks aligned the same?
    • Prosser High first report - report of student results from Prosser High first use of the Analysis Tool. It would be even better to have the students doing the writing, and in some sense this is still a report rather than an investigation.

  • Anybody who has not already done so can get an account on the logbook/discussion test/prototype site: http://i2u2.spy-hill.net . You just need the "invitation code" and then you fill out the forms yourself. This distributes the load -- nobody else has to set up the account for you. And it scales.

  • For our workshop last August at Hanford I posted the logbook guidlines for my Modern Physics lab at Vassar (see http://i2u2.spy-hill.net/view/178-Notebooks.pdf). This is likely to be more detail than is appropriate for high school or junior high students, yet key parts are important to teach and to pass on. There are likely other similar documents out there from other schools.

Which of these guidelines are appropriate for the age groups we are targeting? Are different parts appropriate for different age brackets?

  • I was going to write a motivational e-mail for LIGO teachers but have not done so yet, and given the time of year... But I will do this before summer when we get a new batch of teachers (3!) at Hanford. (Marge and Liz recently got a rough draft of some of what I would say.) I suspect that many teachers do not know the importance of the use of a logbook or the common practices (and traditions!) associated with logbooks. A key idea to stress is that the observations recorded in a logbook are a part of the raw input data stream, rather than being a summary or a report.

So we likely need to teach the teachers about logbooks too.

  • The "logbook" facility for QuarkNet where students record milestones is not really a "logbook". It is not a record of everything the student does. It is not in chronological order. It is summary data, not raw data. It is a report rather than observations. Yet it is also an important component. We might be criticized in a review for using the name "logbook" for it.

Can we find a better name for it? Blue Book? Milestones report? Progress Report?

Or should it be altered to be a complete record of activities?

  • What is a logbook? It might be a useful exercise to ask working scientists what they view as the most important components of a logbook. What key ideas should K-12 (or just 9-12) students know about logbooks? What is the difference between a notebook and a logbook?

Do something like the TV commercials: "What's in your logbook?"

  • Keeping a good logbook is an important scientific skill!

Should there be something on logbooks in "The Basics"?
Topic revision: r40 - 2008-02-05, EricMyers
This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding Foswiki? Send feedback