NC Inquiry - Currituck County Schools

Engaging in the Practices
of Science
Page Keeley
Science Specialist
Maine Math & Science Alliance
NSTA Past President
[email protected]
Who’s in the room?
Our Goal and Approach
To build an understanding of
science as inquiry (K-12) as it
applies to the current direction
of science education and the
North Carolina standards.
Tang Yan is a
Chinese teacher
visiting your school
district. She wonders
what your district
means by “inquiry
science”. How would
you describe inquiry
science to Tang
Describing Science as Inquiry
• Students take an active role in science
• Involves content and process.
• Investigating for the purpose of
constructing understanding of natural
phenomena, processes, and events.
• Gives priority to evidence and evidencebased explanations
• Mirrors science as practiced by scientists
Science as inquiry is key to organizing
and guiding students' activities.
Students in all grades and in every
scientific discipline should have the
opportunity ask questions, plan and
conduct investigations, use appropriate
tools and techniques to gather data,
think critically and logically about
relationships between evidence and
explanations, and communicate
arguments. (from the NC standards)
All this begs the
question—do students
have to be involved in a
hands-on investigation
to inquire?
Not really. The key, often forgotten, aspect
of inquiry is that it is an intellectual
endeavor. Too many students have a
knack for being physically but not
intellectually engaged in science. So
hands-on science may help many
students to inquire, but skillful use of print
materials can accomplish the same goal. It
is what the teacher and students do with
the materials—books or lab equipment—
that makes the difference.
(Dr. Michael Padilla)
The National Science
Education Standards define
inquiry as “the diverse ways in
which scientists study the
natural world and propose
explanations based upon
(NRC 1996, p. 23).
List some of the ways scientists
study or investigate the natural
world and give an example of
Remote observations
Field studies
Systematic observations
Modeling (physical, mathematical,
computer simulations)
• Literature studies
• Experiments
Frayer Model for Scientific Experiment
Scientific Experiment
Scaffolding Experimentation
• Designing Experiments
• Conducting Experiments
The structure and supports that a
teacher or more knowledgeable
helper provides to allow a learner to
perform a task he or she cannot yet
perform independently
~Vygotsky, 1978; Dixon-Krauss, 1996;
Wertsch, 1991
Seed Germination
What factors affect seed germination?
Brainstorming Ideas Related to
My Initial Question
Things I could change or vary when I
`germinate my seeds:
– Type of seeds
– Amount of water
– Soil
– Amount of light
– Time to sprout
Things I could change
Amount of
Type of
Type of soil
Things I could measure
or observe
Length of
Time it takes to
Color of sprouts
Number of seeds
Identifying Variables Related to
My Initial Question
• I will change the amount of water
• I will observe number of seeds sprouted
• I will not change the type of seed, the
temperature, type of soil
• I will not measure the length of the
sprouts, time it takes to sprout, color of the
Formulating a Testable Question
When I change:
the amount of water,
What happens to:
the number of seeds that sprouted?
Guiding Question: How does the amount
of water affect the number of seeds that
Hypothesis versus Prediction
When would students make a hypothesis?
When would they make a prediction?
Are there times when they would do neither?
What is the difference between a hypothesis
and prediction?
• At what grade level does the word
“hypothesis” appear in the standards?
Developing the Procedure
• Materials:
• What I will change (independent or manipulated
• How I will carry out the change:
• Number of samples:
• The data I will collect (dependent or responding
• How I will collect the data:
• How I will record the data:
Your Classroom
Where could you use this scaffold in your
curriculum to help students design their own
What modifications could you make for your
grade level?
What are you wondering about?
Things We Can Change
Length of pendulum
Mass of the bob
Release point of the pendulum
Shape of the bob
Things we can measure
• Period of the pendulum (time it takes to
make one full swing)
• Number of complete swings in a given
time period (30 sec)
• How long it takes the pendulum to come to
• Number of swings before pendulum
comes to rest
3 Experiment Groups
• Length
• Mass of bob
• Angle of release
Stop at C-E-R !
Scientific Experiment
What changes would you make to your
Frayer Model after designing and
conducting the pendulum experiment?
From Inquiry to…
Scientific and Engineering
Card Sort
Sort the cards into examples of:
Scientific Practices
Engineering Design
Both Scientific Practices and Engineering Design
Engineering Design
What is engineering design and how is
it similar to and different from the
practices of science?
The goals and objectives for technological
design call for students to accumulate the
skills necessary to:
• Identify and state a problem, need, or
• Design a solution including cost and
risk/benefit analysis
• Implement and evaluate the solution
• Accurately record and communicate
Technology as Design
Technology as design is analogous to
science as inquiry. All students should
engage in problem-solving by designing,
building, and testing solutions to real-world
problems. By applying critical thinking skills
and knowledge of materials, learners can
compare and assess technological devices
for costs, benefits, applications, practicality,
environmental impact, safety, and
Science and Engineering Practices
Asking questions, Defining a problem
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics, information and computer
technology, and computational thinking
• Constructing explanations, Designing solutions
• Engaging in argument from evidence
• Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating
Everyday Science Mysteries
The Crooked Swing
Engineering Design Process
Identify the problem
Use scientific knowledge to define the problem
Brainstorm possible solutions
Identify constraints
Select best possible solution
Construct a model
Test and evaluate model
Refine the design
Communicate solution
Science and Engineering Practices
Asking questions, Defining a problem
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics, information and computer
technology, and computational thinking
• Constructing explanations, Designing solutions
• Engaging in argument from evidence
• Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating
Claim- Statement that answers the
Evidence- Scientific data that support the
Reasoning- Justification that connects the
evidence to the claim, using a scientific
principle when appropriate, or showing how
other data do not support the claim.
Predict (commit to an outcome)
Explain (explain your thinking)
Observe (test your prediction and observe
If observations don’t match the prediction:
Construct new explanation
Cookie Crumbles- Before
I think the whole cookie weighs
more than all of the cookie crumbs.
The broken cookie has smaller
pieces that are lighter. Because the
cookie is in tiny pieces, it loses
some of its weight when the pieces
are smaller.
Cookie Crumbs- After P-E-O
The whole cookie and all its crumbs
weigh the same. Our data showed the
whole cookie on the napkin weighed 48
grams. We weighed all the crumbs and
pieces and they were also 48 grams.
All we did was break the cookie in
pieces. There is still the same amount
of cookie. It’s just that there are a lot of
smaller pieces.
Ice Cubes in a Bag- Before
I think the mass of the water in the
bag will be more than the mass of
the ice in the bag. Ice cubes float in
water. Because they float they are
lighter than water so the mass is
Ice Cubes in a Bag- After
The mass will stay the same. The mass
of the ice in the bag was 244 grams.
The mass after the ice melted was also
244 grams. The matter changed state
but no new matter was added to the
bag or taken away. The number of
molecules in both bags stayed the
Pendulum Explanation
Use the C-E-R Framework to write
a scientific explanation about what
affects the swing of a pendulum.
Developing and Using Models
Science often involves the
construction and use of a wide
variety of models and simulations
to help develop explanations about
natural phenomena.
Framework for K-12 Science Education
Look Back and Reflection
I used to think _________ but now I know

similar documents