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Inquiry Unpacked. Write yourself a few notes…. If you walked into a science classroom where a great learning experience was occurring, what would you.

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Presentation on theme: "Inquiry Unpacked. Write yourself a few notes…. If you walked into a science classroom where a great learning experience was occurring, what would you."— Presentation transcript:

1 Inquiry Unpacked

2 Write yourself a few notes…. If you walked into a science classroom where a great learning experience was occurring, what would you see? Best Practice Tips: Get your audience involved using their experiences. Provide written and oral directions.

3 Inquiry Unpacked What does inquiry look like in a science methods class? What does inquiry look like in a science methods class? Why would you do inquiry? Why would you do inquiry? What’s so hard about inquiry-oriented teaching? What’s so hard about inquiry-oriented teaching? Where do we go from here to emphasize learning science through inquiry in our methods classes? Where do we go from here to emphasize learning science through inquiry in our methods classes? Best Practice Tips: Provide a roadmap to show where you are going; revisit.

4 Review the science class cases…. Best Practice Tips: Involve the audience, build ownership of content.

5 Discussion Questions 1. What are the steps in each? 2. How long does each take? 3. Which are teacher-centered, student- centered, hands-on, and inquiry? 4. Which is consistent with the nature of science? 5. Which is teaching for understanding? 6. Which would be the most fun for a student? 7. Which class do you want your student teachers to teach? Best Practice Tips: Guide individual discussion to keep audience on topic.

6 Let’s imagine some science methods classes. Celestial College Betelgeuse College Arcturus College

7 Let’s imagine some science methods classes. Celestial College Betelgeu se College Arcturus College The professor tells students about how to implement and manage hands-on activities and helps them find books containing activities and worksheets. Students are assigned to select and photocopy for their personal files their favorite activities and safety rules so that they will have a library of starting materials for their first teaching job.

8 Let’s imagine some science methods classes. Celestial College Betelgeuse College Arcturus College The professor tells students about how to implement and manage hands-on activities and helps them find books containing activities and worksheets. Students are assigned to select and photocopy for their personal files their favorite activities and safety rules so that they will have a library of starting materials for their first teaching job. The professor arranges a sequence of activities for students to conduct over the course of a semester so that students can see and participate as learners in as many activities as possible. Students are assigned to select their favorite three activities and write a reflection paper about what students are supposed to learn and how they will modify the activities for their own future classrooms.

9 Let’s imagine some science methods classes. Celestial College Betelgeuse College Arcturus College The professor tells students about how to implement and manage hands-on activities and helps them find books containing activities and worksheets. Students are assigned to select and photocopy for their personal files their favorite activities and safety rules so that they will have a library of starting materials for their first teaching job. The professor arranges a sequence of activities for students to conduct over the course of a semester so that students can see and participate as learners in as many activities as possible. Students are assigned to select their favorite three activities and write a reflection paper about what students are supposed to learn and how they will modify the activities for their own future classrooms. Students work in teams to identify the big ideas of their scientific discipline from their education standards and then determine what evidence their future students will need to provide in order to demonstrate deep understanding of the concepts. The professor provides students with a few model activities and students select, evaluate, and try out, which activities are most likely to result in their future students demonstrating understanding. The professor emphasizes to students the potential strengths and weaknesses of the approaches students select.

10 Let’s imagine some science methods classes. Celestial College Betelgeuse College Arcturus College The professor tells students about how to implement and manage hands-on activities and helps them find books containing activities and worksheets. Students are assigned to select and photocopy for their personal files their favorite activities and safety rules so that they will have a library of starting materials for their first teaching job. The professor arranges a sequence of activities for students to conduct over the course of a semester so that students can see and participate as learners in as many activities as possible. Students are assigned to select their favorite three activities and write a reflection paper about what students are supposed to learn and how they will modify the activities for their own future classrooms. Students work in teams to identify the big ideas of their scientific discipline from their education standards and then determine what evidence their future students will need to provide in order to demonstrate deep understanding of the concepts. The professor provides students with a few model activities and students select, evaluate, and try out, which activities are most likely to result in their future students demonstrating understanding. The professor emphasizes to students the potential strengths and weaknesses of the approaches students select. Teaching Continuum

11 Discussion Questions revisited 1. What are the steps in each? 2. How long does each take? 3. Which are teacher-centered, student- centered, hands-on, and inquiry? 4. Which is consistent with the nature of science? 5. Which professor is teaching for understanding? 6. Which would be the most fun to be in? 7. Which case reflects your methods class?

12 Inquiry Unpacked What does inquiry look like in a science methods class? What does inquiry look like in a science methods class? Why would you do inquiry? Why would you do inquiry? What’s so hard about inquiry-oriented teaching? What’s so hard about inquiry-oriented teaching? Where do we go from here to emphasize learning science through inquiry in our methods classes? Where do we go from here to emphasize learning science through inquiry in our methods classes?

13 What are the key components of inquiry? Best Practice Tips: Involve the audience.

14 What are the key components of inquiry? Meaningful questions Meaningful questions Collection and organization of data Collection and organization of data Analysis of data Analysis of data Interpretation of data Interpretation of data Identification of new questions Identification of new questions Communication of results Communication of results

15 Wiggle Words on Inquiry (questions without clean answers) What is an inquiry question? What is an inquiry question? Is an “I wonder” question the same as an “hypothesis?” Is an “I wonder” question the same as an “hypothesis?” What are data? What are data? A table of information I look up? Do I have to go measure and collect stuff myself? A table of information I look up? Do I have to go measure and collect stuff myself? What is an analysis? What is an analysis? Do I have to manipulate, calculate, or graph to make sense of my data? Do I have to manipulate, calculate, or graph to make sense of my data? Is science a logical or a creative endeavor? Is science a logical or a creative endeavor?

16 What Are Some Misconceptions About Inquiry?

17 Misconceptions about Inquiry Inquiry: Inquiry: Is the only approach that should be taken to learning (24/7) Is the only approach that should be taken to learning (24/7) Takes to much time Takes to much time Costs too much money Costs too much money Is too hard for students with low aptitudes Is too hard for students with low aptitudes Waters down the content Waters down the content Is too difficult for the teacher Is too difficult for the teacher Causes the teacher to lose control Causes the teacher to lose control Does not allow the teacher to answer any questions or participate in the process Does not allow the teacher to answer any questions or participate in the process

18 Inquiry Unpacked What does inquiry look like in a science methods class? What does inquiry look like in a science methods class? Why would you do inquiry? Why would you do inquiry? What’s so hard about inquiry-oriented teaching? What’s so hard about inquiry-oriented teaching? Where do we go from here to emphasize learning science through inquiry in our methods classes? Where do we go from here to emphasize learning science through inquiry in our methods classes?

19 Three Approaches to Teaching Science Teacher Centered Teacher Centered Lecture/Teacher Talk Lecture/Teacher Talk Hands-on Hands-on Confirmation Activity Confirmation Activity Learner Centered Learner Centered Structured Inquiry Structured Inquiry Guided Inquiry Guided Inquiry Open Inquiry Open Inquiry More student- centered More teacher- centered Methods Courses

20 Three Approaches to Teaching Science Teacher Centered Teacher Centered Lecture/Teacher Talk Lecture/Teacher Talk Hands-on Hands-on Confirmation Activity Confirmation Activity Learner Centered Learner Centered Structured Inquiry Structured Inquiry Guided Inquiry Guided Inquiry Open Inquiry Open Inquiry Teacher provides: Problem or Question Strategy to Pursue Evidence Answer

21 Three Approaches to Teaching Science Teacher Centered Teacher Centered Lecture/Teacher Talk Lecture/Teacher Talk Hands-on Hands-on Confirmation Activity Confirmation Activity Learner Centered Learner Centered Structured Inquiry Structured Inquiry Guided Inquiry Guided Inquiry Open Inquiry Open Inquiry Teacher provides: Problem or Question Strategy to Pursue Evidence BUT NOT THE Answer

22 Three Approaches to Teaching Science Teacher Centered Teacher Centered Lecture/Teacher Talk Lecture/Teacher Talk Hands-on Hands-on Confirmation Activity Confirmation Activity Learner Centered Learner Centered Structured Inquiry Structured Inquiry Guided Inquiry Guided Inquiry Open Inquiry Open Inquiry Teacher provides: Problem or Question BUT NOT THE Strategy to Pursue Evidence AND NOT THE Answer

23 Three Approaches to Teaching Science Teacher Centered Teacher Centered Lecture/Teacher Talk Lecture/Teacher Talk Hands-on Hands-on Confirmation Activity Confirmation Activity Learner Centered Learner Centered Structured Inquiry Structured Inquiry Guided Inquiry Guided Inquiry Open Inquiry Open Inquiry Teacher provides: NOT THE Problem or Question AND NOT THE Strategy to Pursue Evidence AND NOT THE Answer

24 Inquiry Unpacked What does inquiry look like in a science methods class? What does inquiry look like in a science methods class? Why would you do inquiry? Why would you do inquiry? What’s so hard about inquiry-oriented teaching? What’s so hard about inquiry-oriented teaching? Where do we go from here to emphasize learning science through inquiry in our methods classes? Where do we go from here to emphasize learning science through inquiry in our methods classes?

25 Why Inquiry? Do students learn more doing inquiry? Do students learn more doing inquiry? What about the high aptitude students? What about the high aptitude students? What about how “I” learned science? What about how “I” learned science?

26 Why Inquiry? Allows more effective learning: Allows more effective learning: Involves students in the practice of science Involves students in the practice of science Engages students in the content Engages students in the content Provides relevant examples of the concepts Provides relevant examples of the concepts Empowers students to be responsible for their own learning and understanding Empowers students to be responsible for their own learning and understanding Promotes cognitive and metacognitive skills Promotes cognitive and metacognitive skills Integrates different learning styles; crosses disciplines Integrates different learning styles; crosses disciplines Focuses on understanding and application rather than facts Focuses on understanding and application rather than facts

27 Inquiry Unpacked What does inquiry look like in a science methods class? What does inquiry look like in a science methods class? Why would you do inquiry? Why would you do inquiry? What’s so hard about inquiry-oriented teaching? What’s so hard about inquiry-oriented teaching? Where do we go from here to emphasize learning science through inquiry in our methods classes? Where do we go from here to emphasize learning science through inquiry in our methods classes?

28 Why is Inquiry Hard? Most future teachers: Most future teachers: Have not participated in research / the process of science Have not participated in research / the process of science Lack confidence in analytical and interpretative skills Lack confidence in analytical and interpretative skills Feel that it places the locus of control out of their hands Feel that it places the locus of control out of their hands Have difficulty identifying a researchable question Have difficulty identifying a researchable question

29 Why is Inquiry Hard? Most future teachers: Most future teachers: Have not participated in research / the process of science Have not participated in research / the process of science Lack confidence in analytical and interpretative skills Lack confidence in analytical and interpretative skills Feel that it places the locus of control out of their hands Feel that it places the locus of control out of their hands Have difficulty identifying a researchable question Have difficulty identifying a researchable question

30 Identifying a Researchable Question is Hard! Consider these inquiry questions proposed by students—Do you think they would be fruitful and productive things for the student to investigate as a scientific inquiry? Why or why not? Where does lead come from? Where does lead come from? How does rainfall change over the course of the year in Hartford? How does rainfall change over the course of the year in Hartford? Why does water freeze? Why does water freeze? How does the length of day change with latitude? How does the length of day change with latitude? What is the relationship between sunspot activity and average global temperature? What is the relationship between sunspot activity and average global temperature? What percentage of stars in the night sky are brighter than a magnitude of 2? What percentage of stars in the night sky are brighter than a magnitude of 2? What is the relationship between the length of day and the onset of color changes in leaves? What is the relationship between the length of day and the onset of color changes in leaves? Why are there more wildflowers in the spring? Why are there more wildflowers in the spring? How many days are there in a year? How many days are there in a year?

31 What Makes a Good Inquiry Question? Often takes the form of: Often takes the form of: “How does the _____ change over time?” or “How does ____ compare with _____?” “How does the _____ change over time?” or “How does ____ compare with _____?” “What is the relationship between ___ and ___?” “What is the relationship between ___ and ___?” Rarely answered with a “yes” or “no” Rarely answered with a “yes” or “no” Rarely begins with “Why….” Rarely begins with “Why….” These frequently require lots of relationship questions in order to arrive at a valid answer. These frequently require lots of relationship questions in order to arrive at a valid answer. Involves research and data analysis Involves research and data analysis Indicates the type of data that will be collected, either directly or implicitly Indicates the type of data that will be collected, either directly or implicitly Note: For real scientists (not fake ones), a good question often starts with “I wonder what I’ll see if I take a look at ______?” Note: For real scientists (not fake ones), a good question often starts with “I wonder what I’ll see if I take a look at ______?”

32 What was your Inquiry experience? Share your ideas with small group Share your ideas with small group Summarize the experiences of all participants. Summarize the experiences of all participants. Best Practice Tip: Allow your audience to reflect on what they have learned.

33 Inquiry Unpacked What does inquiry look like in a science methods class? What does inquiry look like in a science methods class? Why would you do inquiry? Why would you do inquiry? What’s so hard about inquiry-oriented teaching? What’s so hard about inquiry-oriented teaching? Where do we go from here to emphasize learning science through inquiry in our methods classes? Where do we go from here to emphasize learning science through inquiry in our methods classes?

34 Examples Student inquiry projects Student inquiry projects Fish Count Fish Count Snow 2 Snow 2 Sunspot Activity Sunspot Activity : You will do this after break! Foreshadowing: You will do this after break!

35 Salmon Migration at Bonneville Dam How does the number of salmon counted at Bonneville Dam vary over the course of the year?

36 Data Source:  We used daily fish count data collected at Bonneville Dam by the Army Corps of Engineers, which we found at  The site contains daily fish count data starting in  We used 2006 data for our predictions, and also looked at trends since 2000.

37 Bonneville Dam  First of a series of locks and dams on the Columbia River  Completed in 1937  Electricity Generation and Flood Control Images: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonneville_Dam), Downloaded 12/13/06 Spillway Fish Ladder Spillway Fish Ladder

38 Impact on Fish Population  Before dam built, 16 million salmon per year migrated  Today, five species of migratory fish are threatened or endangered –Chinook salmon –Chum salmon –Coho salmon –Steelhead –Sockeye salmon

39 Effects on Fish  Stress on fish  Some die trying to climb the ladder  Opportunities for predators –California Sea Lions  Similar challenges on upstream dams

40 Societal Issues  Species protection and recovery  Power generation  Native American fishing rights  Should some of the dams be breached?

41 Bonneville Dam Fish Cam Live Fish Cam Live Fish Cam (updated every 15 sec)

42 Monthly Adult Fish Counts U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bonneville - September 2006 Portland District

43 Daily Adult Fish Counts (2006)

44 Yearly Total Counts ( )

45 March Monthly Totals ( )

46 Daily Counts for Month of March ( yr Ave)

47 Our Conclusion  By analyzing the data, we determined that on March 13, 2007 there will be approximately 20 Steelheads and 0-1 Chinook salmon counted at Bonneville Dam

48 Future Predictions  We can test our conclusions/theory— if we review the fish count data collected at Bonneville Dam on March 13, 2007, then the actual number of fish counted will be found.

49 How much snow will have fallen in Bear Valley, California in March by the 13 th ? By: Steve McCue & Dan Dingle

50 Past Data Sets For March SeasonAverage: 72.4 (inches) 86/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /727 70/ / /6921 SeasonAverage: 72.4 (inches) 05/ / / / / / / / / /976 95/ / / / / / / / /8818

51 Graphed Version of March Snowfall

52 The behavior and trends, or lack thereof, of our phenomena Average snowfall for March since is 72.4 inches (that’s cm). Average snowfall for March since is 72.4 inches (that’s cm). The most snow fell in the season, with 217 inches (551 cm) The most snow fell in the season, with 217 inches (551 cm) The least snow fell in season, with 6 inches (15.2 cm) The least snow fell in season, with 6 inches (15.2 cm) Therefore, there can be very large deviations from the average at BV. Therefore, there can be very large deviations from the average at BV. We did notice, however, whenever there is a spike in the amount of snowfall, snowfall amounts plummeted over the next few seasons. We did notice, however, whenever there is a spike in the amount of snowfall, snowfall amounts plummeted over the next few seasons.

53 Our Prediction Using our fine inquisitive minds, we noticed that the season seems to be the top of a peak. Using our fine inquisitive minds, we noticed that the season seems to be the top of a peak. Therefore, we believe snow levels this March will be quite low, approximately 40 inches (to accommodate the fact that we are looking at levels in mid-March, we will divide this predication in half, resulting in a prediction that 20 inches of snow will have fallen at BV by March 13 th. Therefore, we believe snow levels this March will be quite low, approximately 40 inches (to accommodate the fact that we are looking at levels in mid-March, we will divide this predication in half, resulting in a prediction that 20 inches of snow will have fallen at BV by March 13 th.

54 vs. Excel’s Projections Using the fancy pants “trend line” function in Microsoft’s Excel program, we “calculate” an equation which approximates the trends within our data. Using the fancy pants “trend line” function in Microsoft’s Excel program, we “calculate” an equation which approximates the trends within our data. We looks at three different trend lines (exponential, polynomial, and power). We looks at three different trend lines (exponential, polynomial, and power). Plugging the value for this year in each of the three equations, Excel’s average prediction is 72 inches for March, 2007 (or 36 inches by mid-March). Plugging the value for this year in each of the three equations, Excel’s average prediction is 72 inches for March, 2007 (or 36 inches by mid-March).

55 Logarithmic Trendline

56 Polynomial Trendline

57 Power Trendline

58 Man and machine coming together in a fine snowfall predicting… thingy Our prediction = 20 inches Our prediction = 20 inches Excel’s prediction = 36 inches Excel’s prediction = 36 inches Average prediction = 28 inches will have fallen at Bear Valley in the month of March by the 13 th. Average prediction = 28 inches will have fallen at Bear Valley in the month of March by the 13 th.

59 SUNSPOTS How does the activity of Sun spots fluctuate?

60 What are sunspots? Areas of the sun where increased magnetism creates higher pressure and lower temperatures at the surface A lower temperature inhibits the flow of gas from the Sun’s interior, creating the appearance of dark areas, or sunspots

61 What do sunspots look like? Source:

62 Why might the activity of sunspots be an important study? Solar flares can disrupt power grids and radio transmissions Researchers have correlated sunspot activity to tree ring growth Possible affect on the Earth’s climate? –The “Little Ice Age” of the late 1600’s –The Titanic –El Nino and La Nina weather changes

63 Data Source: I used data compiled daily by the NOAA Space Environment Center website to calculate the average number of sunspots per month from the years This data is collected using the Boulder number, a formula devised by Rudolph Wolf in 1848, and one of several acceptable techniques used to count daily sunspot numbers

64 Is sunspot activity determined by the Earth’s relative position around the Sun, such that the number of sunspots present correlate to the months of the year?

65 Evidence of Sunspot Activity

66 More evidence

67 And more evidence

68 My Conclusion My analysis of the data concluded sunspot activity is not determined by the month (i.e. position of the Earth’s orbit relative to the Sun), but rather by the year. This is evidenced by sunspot activity reaching a peak in the year 2000 and having since declined each year, opposite to the pattern seen from when activity was increasing each year.

69 Future Predictions If the sunspot number is between 0-20 on March 13, 2007 (my actual prediction is 7.3 sunspots), then my conclusion of sunspots occurring in a cyclical activity pattern across years, rather than position around the Sun (monthly) will be further supported

70 Today’s Forecast Sunspot Number: 21

71 Reflect on First Question…. If you walked into a classroom where a great learning experience was occurring, what would you see? Best Practice Tip: Allow your audience to process what they have learned.

72 Resources Colburn, A.- What Teacher Educators Need to Know about Inquiry-Based Instruction Colburn, A.- What Teacher Educators Need to Know about Inquiry-Based Instruction Sources of Data Sources of Data

73 Questions? Best Practice Tips: Allow time to clarify discussion; be responsive to audience.


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