How to Use Project-Based Science in the Classroom
- 1). Select a topic, and come up with a broad "driving question" you think your students would be interested in solving. For example, "Why is there gravity?" or "Why do living things age?" Students will focus on researching answers for this question for the duration of the unit.
- 2). Introduce your question to the class. Encourage students to formulate a hypothesis based on what they already know. For instance, students may already have a general idea of why gravity exists. Motivate them to investigate further and find new information.
- 3). Investigate the subject. Encourage students to pursue answers by asking and refining their questions, discussing their ideas with their peers or designing experiments to demonstrate what they've learned.
- 4). Teach a lesson on how to make predictions and formulate theories. Help students design experiments, gather information, collect and analyze data, draw conclusions and communicate their results. Use new technology -- computers, microscopes, videos and learning software -- to expand students' knowledge.
- 5). Bring in artifacts. If you are teaching a unit about fossils, for example, bring in bone samples to show your class. If students are able to interact with whatever they're learning about, it will help them make connections and peak their curiosity. As a teacher, you must have a strong understanding of the material you are teaching. However, don't be afraid to learn from your students. It's part of the process.
- 6). Encourage students to seek answers in their free-time and share the results with the class. Award extra credit or special classroom privileges to students who come in ready with answers and questions.