Celebrating Science - A Family Science Project

  Facilitator's Guide

One of the intentions of the Celebrating Science guide and this online resource is to assist the Planning Group in adapting materials to model inquiry-based learning for families. This table summarizes the FERA learning cycle and contains a list of strategies that support inquiry-based learning. In the Forms section, this table is available as a handout for facilitators to document their own questions.





1: Focus
Find out what participants know or think they know
Challenge what they know or think they know
Narrow the concepts through observations and questioning
What did you observe when…?
Have you seen…?
Did you ever notice…?
I wonder…?

2: Explore
Provide common set of experiences
Decide on a testable question
Make predictions
Come up with a process for testing idea
Conduct experiment
Avoid "why" questions and refocus the participants on asking "how", "what", "when", "where" type of questions.

Limit supplies to help focus questions and procedures
Questions to help with making a prediction and setting up an experiment:
What do you guess/predict will happen when…?
Do you have any past experiences that lead you to make your guess/prediction?
How do you think you can find the answer to your question with the materials at hand?

Questions to help during experimentation:
What did you notice happening when…?
Can you describe…?
What happens if…?
Does it matter if I try…?
Can you describe/find a way to…?
How many ways could you…?

3: Reflect
Make sense of observations and information collected
Share and explain new ideas as a way to deepen understanding
Require participants to support thinking with evidence collected from their investigation

Provide definitions and explanations using participants' experiences collecting data as basis for discussion
What surprises did you find…?
What was happening when…?
What do you think about…?
Why do you think that…?
How is ________ the same? How is different?
Does the information/data you collected support any particular ideas you have?
What did you see/notice that gave you that idea?
What might be another explanation for…?
What ideas link all of our experiments?

4: Apply
Apply recently developed understanding to new situations
Provide a challenge activity to apply concepts in a new setting
How might this experiment be different if…?
What would happen if…?
Could you design another test to try…?
What ideas do you want to try next?