Data Sets and Inquiry in Geoscience Education (DIGS)

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DIGS, an NSF-funded research and development project led by SRI International, resulted in the development of design principles for constructing problem-based curriculum modules on common secondary school geoscience topics. The project also resulted in the development and piloting of curriculum modules on local climate change and tectonic plate boundaries, which were developed to test and instantiate the design principles. The modules consist of weeklong curriculum units and 1- to 2-day performance assessments. The modules provide extended inquiry-based investigations employing real geoscience data sets and visualizations, as well as "near-transfer" performance assessments that provide evidence of geoscience knowledge and inquiry strategies seldom captured in traditional test formats. The units and assessments yield evidence of students' abilities to demonstrate greater understanding of the conventions and constraints of inquiry about geoscience phenomena and provide models of how the interpretation and analysis of geoscience data sets can be scaffolded through age-appropriate tasks that facilitate high-quality student inquiry. The web site contains everything a teacher needs to implement the modules in the classroom, the final project report, and papers delivered at professional conferences.

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Grade Level: Middle (6-8), High School (9-12)
Topics: Climate, Chemistry/Physics/Mathematics