Reflection: Organizational Systems Asking the Right Questions - Section 2: Explore


I have implemented a guideline which states that I must approve all science fair project ideas before any work can be done. It may sound as though I am micro-managing, but it helps to alleviate a lot of problems later on down the road. Approving the students' ideas helps to ensure that students are on track to designing an experiment that will lend itself to the scientific investigation and is safe for all involved. It is a lot easier to help students "tweak" their ideas to make them more suitable before they start, rather than after they are weeks into a project and the fair is only days away. I encourage other teachers at my school to do the same thing. Not only is it beneficial for the reasons above, but it also helps to ensure there aren't 30+ baking soda and vinegar volcanoes going off in your classroom and no actual question or investigation to go along with them.

Students will submit 2-3 ideas for approval, listed in order of preference (#1 is their top choice). After they submit, I will read through them and evaluate them according to the guidelines I have set forth. I always consider their top choice first. Given that it meets the criteria and no one else in class has chosen it, it will be approved. I only move on to the 2nd and/or third choices if the criteria are not met (and it is not possible to revise the idea to meet the criteria) or if this idea has already been chosen.

  Organizational Systems: Approval
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Asking the Right Questions

Unit 3: Science Fair
Lesson 2 of 7

Objective: SWBAT formulate a testable question suitable for scientific investigation.

Big Idea: Choosing the right question can be the toughest part for students as they begin their science fair experiment. Make it fun, and you'll set the tone for a successful event and learning experience!

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