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High School — Science
Scientific Inquiry

In this benchmark, students develop scientific habits of mind as they use the processes of scientific inquiry to ask valid questions and to gather and analyze information. They understand how to develop hypotheses and make predictions. They are able to reflect on scientific practices as they develop and evaluate a variety of conclusions. Students are also able to demonstrate the ability to communicate their findings to others.

The content in this Teaching Tool is based on the OH Science Academic Content Standards with an awareness of the types of questions asked to date on the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT). While there are various suggestions and activities for working with students, this Teaching Tool is designed to complement a rigorous, research-based curriculum, not to substitute for one.

Additional Sources

American Association for the Advancement of Science. Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Oxford University Press, 1993.

American Association for the Advancement of Science. Atlas of Science Literacy. Washington, D.C.: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Driver, Rosalind, et al. Making Sense of Secondary Science: Research into Children's Ideas. New York: Routledge, 1994.

Hazen, Robert M. and James Trefil. Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy. New York: Anchor Books, 1992.

National Academy of Sciences. National Science Education Standards. Washington D.C.: National Academies Press, 1995.

National Research Council. America's Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2006.



Scientific Inquiry


1. Scientific Inquiry

Click on the following benchmark for more information and for links to annotated OGT items.

a.

Benchmark A: Participate in and apply the processes of scientific investigation to create models and to design, conduct, evaluate and communicate the results of these investigations.

 



Strategies

Help With Fundamentals

Student who have performed at the Basic or Limited level on the OGT may need help with fundamentals. Students with Basic level performance demonstrate a rudimentary understanding of concepts, processes and relationships underlying natural phenomena. Students with Limited level performance typically demonstrate skills and understanding below Basic level performance. Click here for a complete description of student performance levels.

Listed here is a common difficulty students might have in this standard. Carefully monitor your students' work and analyze your curriculum to anticipate such problems.

Please take proper safety precautions during any laboratory investigation.



Additional Instruction and Practice

Students who have performed at the Accelerated or Proficient level on the OGT may benefit from additional instruction and practice. Students with Accelerated level performance typically demonstrate solid science knowledge and reasoning abilities. Students with Proficient level performance typically recognize and explain concepts, processes and relationships underlying natural phenomena. Click here for a complete description of student performance levels.

If your students need additional instruction and practice, consult with your colleagues and examine your curriculum for activities that address the performance indicators. Supplement your instruction by having your students make models, draw pictures, do kinesthetic activities and use graphic organizers. Here are some examples of additional activities you might want to try.

Please take proper safety precautions during any laboratory investigation.

Activity 1

The Last Straw Project

This tutorial allows students to participate in and apply the processes of scientific investigation. Students will draw conclusions based on scientific knowledge about life processes of plants, the use of logic, and data from simulated investigations (Scientific Inquiry, Benchmark A). In addition, students will explain how plants interact with components of the environment (Life Sciences, Benchmark D).

Activity 2

Authentic Evidence and Plate Boundaries

Students will construct, interpret and apply models that represent the processes of plate tectonics. Students will also have the opportunity to present findings with available technology, using clear language, accurate data and maps . Students draw logical conclusions using scientific knowledge of plate tectonic activity and seismic activity data from the USGS * (Scientific Inquiry, Benchmark A).

*This link contains resources or information that may be useful. These resources were not written to align specifically to Ohio's Academic Content Standards. The inclusion of a specific resource is not an endorsement of that particular resource, or any of its contents, by the Ohio Department of Education. Teachers are advised to preview all sites before using them with students.



Advanced Work

Students with Advanced level performance consistently demonstrate superior knowledge and ability to integrate understanding of scientific principles. Click here for a complete description of student performance levels.

Confer with your colleagues and consult your curriculum to come up with activities and problems that go beyond the grade-level indicators. You might try the following activity.

Please take proper safety precautions during any laboratory investigation.



Global Warming

Students are expected to participate in and apply the processes of scientific investigation to create models and to design, conduct, evaluate and communicate the results of these investigations (Scientific Inquiry, Benchmark A).

Students may draw logical conclusions based on scientific knowledge about possible causes of global warming and how human activities may affect the global climate. Click here * for "Global Warming," a series of lessons from Michigan State University in which students describe the changes in weather patterns and climate associated with global warming, make inferences about the possible effects of greenhouse gases and develop written presentations using clear language, accurate data, appropriate graphs, tables, maps and available technology. Students may summarize data, including the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration during the past 250 years (as illustrated in the graph below) and use this data to support their arguments.

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration

This activity incorporates student understanding of climate and weather patterns in Earth's systems (Earth and Space Sciences, Benchmark B) and how human activities can affect the status of natural systems (Life Sciences, Benchmark G).

*This link contains resources or information that may be useful. These resources were not written to align specifically to Ohio's Academic Content Standards. The inclusion of a specific resource is not an endorsement of that particular resource, or any of its contents, by the Ohio Department of Education. Teachers are advised to preview all sites before using them with students.