Stimulating Inquiry Thinking Skills and Strengthening Laboratory Skills
Fair Lawn High School, New Jersey
Summer Research Program for Science Teachers
Target Audience: 9th and 10th grade honors biology students
This project is intended to stimulate inquiry thinking skills as well as strengthen laboratory skills. Students will work in groups to develop, run and report on an experiment using Pseudomonas bacteria. The time frame is the first and second semester of the school year. In class support will be provided through computer lab time, library research presentation, small group meeting time and multiple visits from undergraduate lab student. Students will need to make appointments for after school time in the lab to test and run experiments with teacher supervision. Multiple checkpoints will be made to assist students with time management. Each checkpoint will be assessed and added to compile the total grade for the project.
Students will attend a session with the librarians on how to do a literature search and how to cite references correctly.
background article about Pseudomonas
bacteria will be read in class and discussed .
Class lab experiments will be conducted in order to teach content as well as demonstrate each aspect important in designing a research experiment. Students will have aspects modeled as well as practicing each aspect individually.
will be formed and discussions of possible research questions will begin .
lab time provided for research (1 period) .
Groups will submit 3 research questions along with a reference list.
teacher approves a research question students work on devising protocol (1
period teacher supported; 1 period teacher and undergraduate student
protocol must be submitted and approved .
supplies ordered .
Aseptic technique taught through lab.
Appointments must be made to run experiments after school or during lunch periods; data gathered protocols fine tuned; replicates made.
Undergraduate student visits to assist with fine-tuning protocols .
written lab reports examined and discussed; parameters for each section
listed (1 – 2 periods) .
methods described and demonstrated: Excel graphs, spreadsheets, statistics .
discuss appropriate analysis techniques and work on creating charts, etc. (1
– 2 periods) .
techniques submitted and evaluated .
work on written reports .
lab reports submitted and evaluated .
STANDARD 5.1 (Scientific Processes) All Students will develop problem-solving, decision-making and inquiry skill, reflected by formulating usable questions and hypotheses, planning experiments, conducting systematic observations, interpreting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and communicating results.
STANDARD 5.3 (Mathematical Applications) All students will integrate mathematics as a tool for problem-solving in science, and as a means of expressing and/or modeling scientific theories.
STANDARD 5.5 (Characteristics of Life) All students will gain an understanding of the structure, characteristics, and basic needs of organisms and will investigate diversity of life.
STANDARD 4.4 (Data Analysis, Probability, and discrete Mathematics) All students will develop an understanding of the concepts and techniques of data analysis, probability, and discrete mathematics, and will use them to model situations, solve problems, and analyze and draw appropriate inferences from data.
STANDARD 3.1 (Reading) All students will understand and apply the knowledge of sounds, letters, and words in written English to become independent and fluent readers, and will read a variety of materials and texts with fluency and comprehension.
STANDARD 3.2 (Writing) All students will write in clear, concise, organized language that varies in content and form for different audiences and purposes.
STANDARD 3.3 (Speaking) All students will speak in clear, concise, organized language that varies in content and form for different audiences and purposes.