At TLC, scientific inquiry is the basis for how each unit of study is approached. 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."
Scientific inquiry reflects how scientists come to understand the natural world, and it is at the heart of how students learn. From a very early age, children interact with their environment, ask questions, and seek ways to answer those questions. Understanding science content is significantly enhanced when ideas are anchored to inquiry experiences.
Scientific inquiry is a powerful way of understanding science content. Students learn how to ask questions and use evidence to answer them. In the process of learning the strategies of scientific inquiry, students learn to conduct an investigation and collect evidence from a variety of sources, develop an explanation from the data, and communicate and defend their conclusions.
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) recommends that all K–16 teachers embrace scientific inquiry and is committed to helping educators make it the centerpiece of the science classroom. The use of scientific inquiry will help ensure that students develop a deep understanding of science and scientific inquiry.
A sampling of science class activities
Maintaining a monarch butterfly way station, growing vegetables and flowers in our organic gardens, building structures and discovering what makes them sound, finding macro invertebrates to determine the water quality of a stream, learning about simple machines in a Lego lab