Stimulating Inquiry Thinking Skills and Strengthening Laboratory Skills


Kathryn Straubel

Fair Lawn High School, New Jersey


Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

August 2007


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.



First semester:        


Second semester: 





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.