Biology 47

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Scientific Inquiry

Scientific inquiry and the scientific method are similar concepts – but not the same thing.

  • Scientific inquiry can be done in many ways
  • Scientific method is one way among many for scientific inquiry

The National Science Education Standards defines scientific inquiry as “the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence derived from their work. Scientific inquiry also refers to the activities through which students develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, as well as an understanding of how scientists study the natural world.”


Day 1 – Introduction
Day 2 – Virtual Textbook


Instructor Resources

Standard Daily Material
  • Day 1 – Standard material – introduction day
  • Day 2 – Standard material – reading day
  • Day 3 – Standard material – make a presentation
  • Day 4 – Standard material – give a presentation
  • Extra! – Enrichment and remediation options
Other Topic Specific Resources
  • Biology 12 Scientific method & safety
  • cK-12 Scientific-method (04.04)
  • Method 11 Scientific method & laws
  • WikiHow How to use the Scientific Method
  • NSTA What is scientific inquiry
  • NGSS Phenomenon examples
  • LS47 Fossil patterns of diversity & extinction (tnsp)
  • LS47 Bigger Is not necessarily better (tns)




NGSS – The Wonder of Science

A phenomenon is simply an observable event.  In the science classroom a carefully chosen phenomenon can drive student inquiry.  Phenomena add relevance to the science classroom showing students science in their own world.  A good phenomenon is observable, interesting, complex, and aligned to the appropriate standard.

HS-LS1-1: Genes, Proteins, and Tissues
HS-LS1-2: Interacting Body Systems
HS-LS1-3: Feedback Mechanisms and Homeostasis
HS-LS1-4: Cellular Division and Differentiation
HS-LS1-5: Photosynthesis and Energy Transformation
HS-LS1-6: Formation of Carbon-Based Molecules
HS-LS1-7: Cellular Respiration and Energy Transfer
HS-LS2-1: Carrying Capacity of Ecosystems
HS-LS2-2: Biodiversity and Populations in Ecosystems
HS-LS2-3: Aerobic and Anaerobic Cycling of Matter
HS-LS2-4: Biomass and Trophic Levels
HS-LS2-5: Cycling of Carbon in Ecosystems
HS-LS2-6: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
HS-LS2-7: Human Impact Reduction Solution
HS-LS2-8: Social Interactions and Group Behavior
HS-LS3-1: Chromosomal Inheritance
HS-LS3-2: Inheritable Genetic Variation
HS-LS3-3: Variation and Distribution of Traits
HS-LS4-1:Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
HS-LS4-2: Four Factors of Natural Selection
HS-LS4-3: Adaptation of Populations
HS-LS4-4: Natural Selection Leads to Adaptation
HS-LS4-5: Environmental Change – Speciation and Extinction
HS-LS4-6: Human Impact on Biodiversity Solution

Special Notes and Notices

Instructor Emphasis:

  • Science & Engineering Practice: Construct explanations and design solutions.
  • Cross-Cutting Concept: Systems and System Models.

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