The development of inquiry-based kits to supplement elementary science instruction.
MetadataShow full item record
SubjectInquiry-based learning.; Teaching -- Aids and devices.; Science -- Study and teaching (Elementary) -- Activity programs.; Effective teaching.; National Science Teachers Association.; Erie 2 BOCES.
"Science has been left off the national agenda for too long, and now we are paying the price", said the executive director of the National Science Teachers Association on the results of the 2009 national science exam (Banchero, 2011, p.1). Results showed that only one third of US students had a solid grasp of science. The National Science Education Standards have encouraged teachers to use inquiry-based learning because it allows students to immerse themselves in science and gain content knowledge. As a response to low science scores and stretched budgets, NY teachers use inquiry-based learning designed for them by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). BOCES prepares and distributes hands-on science kits for grades K-6, making inquiry-based learning an option for all elementary students. BOCES provides schools districts with inquiry kits, however doesn't provide instruction for every topic covered over the course of the year. The purpose of this curriculum project was to create five science kits modeled after the Erie 2 Chautauqua Cattaraugus BOCES kits to enhance the current fourth grade curriculum at Pine Valley Central School District. Each kit is aligned to the science curriculum and includes: eight lesson plans aligned to the New York State standards, eight reflective assessments, three formal assessments, vocabulary lists, materials list and images/graphs. The new kits resemble the current kits and were created to supplement the curriculum, addressing the following five topics: energy from plants, systems of the human body, heat, sound and light, and simple machines.