Marshall Sundberg presented about inquiring with plants and shared several of the investigations he engages his college biology students in at Emporia State University. He gave us the task of making the most “bendy” celery using tap water and salt. All of these investigations are focused around the task of engaging students in science practices, which are becoming increasingly common subjects in science education reform, seen in NGSS (8 science and engineering practices) as well as the new AP Biology curriculum (7 science practices).
Some of the investigations discussed covered making observations, inferences, and asking questions (looking at static images and looking at tree bark), designing experiments and collecting data (“What are the most popular cars in Lawrence?” and “What are the most common street trees in Lawrence?”), analyzing data (statistical analysis if previous investigations as well as Colorado River water allocation commission), working with data and representations (energy use in self-sustaining fish bowl and stomata density), and much more.
Please comment by adding “take-aways”, questions or wonderings, ideas for how to utilize science practices in other parts of our curriculum, or anything else!