6: 11.12.22 – Redesigning High School Science Investigations to make more powerful 3-D learning experiences for students

Day, Date, Time: Saturday, November 12, 2022     8:30am – 2pm

Contact Hours: 5 hours 

Food: BYO lunch – ½ hour, drinks (water, soda) and snacks provided

Location: Sand Creek High School

Title: Redesigning High School Science Investigations: to make more powerful 3-D learning experiences for students

Presenters: Tim Blesse, Brandon Davis, Teacher Professional Development Consultants, Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Description: With the shift to three-dimensional science teaching called for by the new state and national standards, we want our students to spend less time in class “Learning About” scientific phenomena and more time “Figuring Out” what causes them. 

Using hands-on lab experiences, provides students the opportunity to use the eight practices of science and engineering to develop their own explanations for phenomena, and design their own solutions to problems. Transforming science education into a method of discovery, not only imitates what real scientists do, but it adds a sense of student agency and ownership that “cookie-cutter” labs never did. But the shift to this type of teaching has gotten ahead of the available curricular materials. In particular hands-on laboratory experiences seem to be lacking.

In this workshops you will be given opportunities to actively collaborate as you: 

  1. Look at some currently existing lab experience model resources, already designed to be phenomenon-driven and take time to start integrating the ones you like into your current biology courses
  2. Collaboratively Redesign some of your existing labs. Most existing labs were intended to demonstrate a science concept or principle using a real-life phenomenon. With a little clever backward-design, we will take these labs and turn them into experiences where students design and carry out their own investigations, unpacking phenomena in order to discover basic biological principles. 
  3. Learn some evidence-based principles about how to guide, rather than direct, student investigations. Strategies like: Questioning, Building in uncertainty, Analyzing for reliability, Recognizing different types of biological questions (e.g. comparative, Correlative) The difference between experimental and nonexperimental investigations.