Reflection: Student Led Inquiry Using Roller Coasters to Introduce Energy - Section 4: Designing solutions


Cookie cutter lessons that have predetermined outcomes are frowned upon in the NGSS, because they steer students. The importance of providing structure in an inquiry-based classroom is important, however. If we want students to test ideas and find connections we must determine the best strategies to elicit those ideas and integrate them into the fabric of our classes.  

Using Predict, Explain, Observe, Explain (P.E.O.E.) provides students with a clear procedure that asks them to predict and then reflect on their original ideas.  Science isn't just about getting the right answer, it is about testing ideas and learning from them. Without this structure, students would have very little data recorded in their notes, resulting in a shallow understanding of this scientific phenomena associated with roller coasters. The data collected will later be used to develop a deep understanding energy, which would not be possible without the intentional incorporation of specific strategies into this lesson.

  Providing Structure
  Student Led Inquiry: Providing Structure
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Using Roller Coasters to Introduce Energy

Unit 4: Energy
Lesson 1 of 10

Objective: SWBAT: Use inquiry to develop an understanding of potential and kinetic energy

Big Idea: Using a constructivist approach to teaching energy, students will build a roller coaster and then make connections to important physical science concepts.

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Science, PEOE
  54 minutes
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