How might a student show that they can form a hypothesis that leads to new questions and additional scientific inquiry? We tackled this question through the through the use of iPads and asking our students to investigate the question: Which metal would be the best for re-building the Statue of Liberty? They were provided a number of different metals and a simple method to test their reactivity. The following video clip demonstrates the artifact that one group collected from this learning experience:
Youtube - Calcium in water student hypothesis formation
As can be seen in the clip, the students are thinking out loud and wondering based on their observations of the chemical reaction. It is this informal wondering that was formalized through a reflection in their digital portfolio. They used this artifact as part of a body of evidence to show their progression in using questions and hypotheses to inform future scientific investigations. It eventually led to what we are calling, the hypothesis badge. With these badges, our students are better equipped to earn internships that are offered during their Junior and Senior year.
At Del Lago Academy, we are working to developing protocols that support students through this learning process. We are also in the process of developing a technology platform that makes this workflow more seamless for both students and their teacher. We look forward to hearing similar stories and ideas about how to formalize informal learning experiences like the one captured in this video.