Changing Hudson Project

The Changing Hudson Project curriculum was developed by scientists and educators at Cary to help students understand how the Hudson River changes over time. By collaborating with teachers, scientists, and management agencies, the curriculum has grown to include a wide range of topics that engage students with visualizations, readings, investigations, and actual scientific data.

Excel Tutorial - Basic


Students will know how to use Excel and be able to create graphs and explain the trends using Hudson River data.

Lesson Overview

1. Students will use the tutorial to make a spreadsheet, graph, and complete a basic analysis of provided Hudson River data 2. Students create their own graphs based on provided data

One 45-minute period
  • Excel Tutorial
  • Computers with Excel

Engage: Ask: What do scientists do with all of the data they collect? How do they organize it, understand it, and decide whether their results are significant?

Explore: Students will use the Excel Tutorial to learn how to use Excel, beginning with making a spreadsheet, entering data, creating simple graphs, and adding in trendlines and secondary axes. By the time students finish the tutorial, they will be able to create the other graphs in the Changing Hudson Project.

Explain: Excel allows you to enter in a lot of data, keep it organized, and perform simple statistics. It is useful to learn excel for a number of different applications, including keeping track of expenses or even just knowing how many people are coming to a large event.
The first step is to enter data into the cells, either numbers or words. You can then create a simple graph, calculate averages, sums, and a number of other functions, and display your information professionally.

Extend: Students can try collecting simple data in the classroom (height of all students, number of siblings, etc) and graphing that in Excel.

Evaluate: There are several sections to the Excel Tutorial; decide how much you would like to collect each day, and assign the appropriate amount to your students.

Lesson Resources
NYS Standards
MST 1 - Mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design
MST 2- Informational Systems/ Information Technology
MST 4- Physical setting, living environment and nature of science
MST 5- Engineering and computer technology to satisfy societal needs
MST 6- Interconnectedness of mathematics, science, and technology (modeling, systems, scale, change, equilibrium, optimization)
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
9D Uncertainty
12B Computation and Estimation
12D Communication Skills
12E Critical-Response Skills

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