Module 2 continues to develop the components of the nature of science and scientific inquiry by putting the students in the role of scientists as they embark on an outdoor scientific investigation at the local habitat museum.>
This module begins with students using the Habitat Tracker website to conduct background research. Students will use this tool to research the animals and habitats they will be observing at the museum. They will generate their own research questions and determine if they can collect the data at the museum needed to answer their questions. Additionally, your students will collaborate with individuals from other schools who may be working on similar projects or who have entered data in the past. Emphasis is placed on helping students understand the difference between scientific investigations, which students are conducting in this module, and scientific experiments, which students will conduct in the next module.
In this module, students will go “into the field” to collect their data (i.e., field trip to the museum). Much like a scientist that might go into the rainforest with a data sheet and pencil to make observations about an animal, your scientists will use mobile technologies (iPads), loaded with the Habitat Tracker application, to enter their observations. The benefits of using this technology is that your students will be collecting their data in real-time, they will not have to input their data into a computer when they return to the classroom, and they will be adding their data to a central database accessible to multiple students. Their data will consist of animal behavior and habitats observations, as well as weather information obtained from weather stations around the museum.
Once your scientists return from their expedition, they will access their own data and that of their peers using our website analysis tool. They will analyze data from the Habitat Tracker database to provide evidence in support of the answer they develop in response to their research question. However, just like real scientist, your students will not stop there. Instead, they will work up their findings in the form of a presentation or poster and present their research to their peers, much like scientists do when the share their findings at conventions.
By conducting their own scientific investigation, students will learn about the multiple methods of science, the role of questions in scientific research, how data is collected and analyzed to help answer scientific questions, and the social nature of science. Additionally, students will develop their digital literacy skills by using the Habitat Tracker website and mobile technology.
This module consists of 4 lessons and associated inquiry activities, and is expected to take 8 standard class periods.
1. Learning to Conduct a Scientific Investigation Part 1: Methods of Science & Background
2. Learning to Conduct a Scientific Investigation Part 2: Developing Scientific questions
3. Conducting a Scientific investigation Part 1: Collecting Data
4. Conducting a Scientific Investigation Part 2: Analyzing & Presenting Data