SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY, DRIVEN BY
A Challenge and an Opportunity
In an ideal world, every learner in science is driven by a power within, to ask
questions, to seek answers to those questions, and to think innovatively. In
reality, not all students have a passion for science. As science teachers, we
strive to create switched-on science learners, within the constraints of our
In every science classroom, there are always, some “eager few” who try
to probe a little deeper, who ask questions that aren’t easily answerable
and who demonstrate a natural sense of scientific curiosity, and a desire to
follow where their curiosity is leading them.
In the past, I had trialed an open-ended, exploratory science unit with middle
school students. Students had the option to examine an area of interest or
a personal passion through a scientific lens. While some students picked up
this opportunity and ran with it, by designing, conducting, concluding and
evaluating some in-depth exploration of areas of interest, other students
were simply going through the motions. For them, they were doing another
lab report with the primary motivation coming in the form of their end of
unit grades. Ultimately, what occurred was spread out across 24 individual
investigations and I did not have the time or resources to give students the
input they needed and deserved.
With this experience in mind, I started looking for a new opportunity to help
students pursue an interest or a passion through a scientific exploration.
The Science Inquiry Club for Middle School students at ASB is a prototype