Integrating Inquiry for Educators: Developing Student Science Practices
We know it can be tricky to inspire your students to engage in authentic science inquiry, especially given all the other educational standards you’re integrating alongside science practice skills. Here at the Cornell Lab, we have pioneered the use of inquiry and citizen science in the classroom as a powerful way to harness the natural curiosity of students and transform it into experiences they will never forget.
Through case-studies, practice activities, standards alignment, and reflection, this course will prepare you to weave inquiry-based learning into your students’ lives in ways that will build their confidence and motivation to engage in science.
Jump-Start the Inquiry Process
- Discuss how citizen science and inquiry-based activities support student learning
- Review classroom case studies and see how these concepts are applied
- Explore citizen-science projects you can implement right now
- Test your knowledge through interactive quizzes
- Design your own investigation using the science process
We’ve designed this self-paced course to help educators explore the process of inquiry and scientific investigation, especially as inspired by outdoor observations and citizen-science participation. Our popular Investigating Evidence curriculum is the “textbook” for the course. You can purchase the course with printed curricula/handouts or opt for the electronic version that you can download for free. You can also elect to earn two optional Continuing Education Units (CEUs) if you successfully complete the course. All online materials will be available to you for six months following your enrollment.
Just because the course is completed on your own time doesn’t mean it isn’t interactive. Throughout the course, you’ll hear from teachers who have successfully used citizen science with students. You’ll also participate in discussion boards and learn from other educators and Cornell Lab facilitators who came before you in the course. We’ll encourage you to get outside and explore, think about applications for and implementation in your own program or classroom. Finally, quizzes and assignments will help you test your knowledge and understanding.
Meet the Course Instructors
Jennifer Fee is the Manager of K-12 programs at the Cornell Lab Lab or Ornithology where she and her team have developed a network of more than 30,000 educators from all over the country and internationally. Her expertise is in helping educators integrate citizen science into their teaching practices. She has taught more than a hundred professional development workshops and is the co-author of Citizen Science: 15 Lessons That Bring Biology to Life from the NSTA press. She holds a B.S. (Biology) from Truman State University and M.S. (Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, and… Read full bio
Lindsay Glasner is the Outreach Coordinator with the Cornell Lab’s K-12 Education program where she leads workshops, manages the ambassador program, designs curricula, and creates online courses. Drawing from her graduate-level training in environmental education, Lindsay inspires teachers and their students to tune in to birds and ask their own scientific questions. Lindsay caught the birding bug while working at the Cornell Lab and is now a full-fledged birder and a passionate spokesperson for citizen science.
As a K-12 Education Specialist at the Cornell Lab, Kelly Schaeffer works to help students connect to birds and nature through scientific exploration. Kelly has lead dozens of sessions and workshops for educators at conferences across the US, including NSTA, NAAEE, and BOOST. With a background in wildlife field research, Kelly brings an understanding of what it takes to conduct authentic science inquiry into everything she develops. She holds B.S. degrees (Wildlife Conservation and Entomology) from the University of Delaware and an M.S. (Environmental… Read full bio
Inquiry through Citizen Science
Practice defining “citizen science” and “inquiry”, explore how they are related , and dive in to case studies about using citizen science and inquiry in classrooms and other educational settings.
Observe and Wonder
Get tips on how to foster observations, immerse yourself in the difference between open-ended and closed-ended questions, and practice differentiating between questions that can be answered through reference materials, data exploration, observational study, and experimentation.
Creating and Supporting Investigations
Get practice helping students plan a scientific investigation: from defining the difference between a hypothesis and a prediction, writing a testable hypothesis, identifying independent and dependent variables, and defining variables within an experimental study.
Show Me the Data
Transform your students’ graphing skills. Help them correctly identify and describe commonly used graph types and how they represent data. Review common pitfalls students encounter when graphing data.
Assessing and Sharing Inquiry
Practice identifying challenges and potential solutions for teaching inquiry in the classroom. Use a rubric to evaluate a scientific report and describe four effective ways to share student investigations.
Develop your own implementation plan for your educational setting that incorporates inquiry and citizen science.
We’ve designed this self-paced course to help educators explore the process of inquiry and scientific investigation, especially as inspired by outdoor observations and citizen-science participation. Our popular Investigating Evidence curriculum is the “textbook” for the course.
You can purchase printed curricula/handouts separately or opt for the electronic version that you can download and/or print yourself. Feel free to explore Investigating Evidence at www.birdsleuth.org/investigation. You can also elect to earn two optional Continuing Education Units (CEUs) if you successfully complete the course. All online materials will be available to you for six months following your enrollment.