Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
Investigations in science are most often carried out to describe a phenomenon, to test a theory, or to provide a model for how the world works. In engineering, investigations provide an opportunity to determine how to fix or improve the functioning of a technological system, or to compare different solutions to see which best solves a problem. In both science and engineering, it is important that students identify the goal of an investigation, predict outcomes, and plan a course of action. Over time and through repeated opportunities for planning and carrying out investigations, students are expected to become more systematic and careful in their methods. This includes determining which variables should be varied or controlled during trials and how to plan for data collection under different conditions.
“Students should have opportunities to plan and carry out several different kinds of investigations during their K-12 years. At all levels, they should engage in investigations that range from those structured by the teacher - in order to expose an issue or question that they would be unlikely to explore on their own - to those that emerge from students’ own questions.”(NRC Framework, 2012, p. 61)
Adapted from NGSS Appendix F and A Framework for K-12 Science Education
TO LEARN MORE….
NSTA Hub: read more about the Practice of Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, view the complete progression of the Practice across K-12, and explore the specific performance expectations that make use of the Practice