Welcome to Environmental Inquiry: authentic scientific research for high school students  
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EI Research in the Classroom
Photograph of middle school students using a microscopeEI student research is implemented in courses ranging from 8th grade through advanced placement science, with adaptations in the level of sophistication expected in experimental design and interpretation and presentation of results.

By incorporating critical thinking, communication, and technology skills, the EI curricula are designed to help all types of students to succeed in science. Although research experiences commonly are reserved for advanced students, the EI curriculum series is designed to extend these opportunities to all students, including those who have not flourished in more traditional "college-preparatory" science courses. Students who are not accustomed to thinking of themselves as scientists gain motivation and self-esteem when faced with the challenge of carrying out authentic research projects and then reporting their results and exchanging critiques with other students.

In a growing number of schools, integrated science or environmental science is taught as an introductory or basic level high school science course. EI research projects work well in this setting because the curriculum materials do not assume detailed prior knowledge of any of the science disciplines and are based on thought-provoking hands-on activities.

In more advanced science classes, EI projects provide opportunities to expand students' understanding of complex concepts related to experimental design, data analysis, and the nature of conducting scientific research.


Copyright 2009 Environmental Inquiry, Cornell University and Penn State University
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