Updated: Jun 11, 2019
When I speak with teachers about their curriculum needs, we frequently discuss the important skills needed to succeed in science. For today's classrooms, it's not just topical science with the new Next Generation Science Standards--now we need to seriously consider skills that are relevant across all scientific disciplines and other subjects. A field trip to the beach, rocky shore, or aboard a research vessel is definitely exciting and engaging, but what important skills are students developing by participating in experiential programming?
Marine Science Institute (MSI) offers multiple exposure programs focused on developing important skills that go beyond engagement, offering real-life, relevant practices. The Scientific Method Combination Program builds students' skills by:
Introducing the phases and organization of investigation
Bringing living animals and artifacts for hands-on practice in procedure in the classroom
Providing real-life, exercise and action in the field collecting data
Conducting an analysis and interpretation of data
Presenting explanations of findings from data
Students utilize these skills in noticing patterns in classification, measuring data by recognizing the value of scale, proportion, and quantity, and are able to decipher causal relationships based on the evidence they collect in the field. With this rich, experiential program, students are not only excited and engaged, but are loaded with skills that will carry over to other scientific disciplines and other content areas such as English Language Arts and Social Studies.
An experience in nature can take students much further than simply a "fun" day outdoors. These experiences ignite learners' curiosity and critical thinking practice, leading to more advanced academic inquiry. The Scientific Method Combination program and other MSI multiple exposure programs give students the opportunity to dive deeper, empowering them with the skills needed to succeed.
By Naomi Deal