Essays in Education


The present article describes the employment of a unique element to inquiry-based science learning in k-12 classrooms, and in particular the 5E model. Extension is a process that emerged from the elaboration phase of the 5E model that is fundamentally composed of two elements: novel scientific research and scientific partnership. Extension is a phase that allows students to extend learning from an inquiry-based science curricular unit into novelty, which is essentially a research question for which there is currently no scientific answer. This process is supported through partnership with a practicing scientist from the local community, if at all possible. Partnering with a scientist allows practical assistance in experimental design, as well as access to research and skills, to develop a question that is novel. This scientist also helps the students communicate their results through posters and research papers, which are another critical aspect of the scientific process. Overall, the aspect of novel scientific inquiry is not typically addressed in modern science education at the k-12 level, but is at the core of scientific research, and situates learners as practitioners of science. This exposure can lead to increased student exploration of scientific career pathways.



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