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Teachers and students who wish to go beyond the self-contained structure of a Powers of Inquiry lesson can use the lesson as a template for original research.

Investigating Real Data

Students are often anxious to learn how their knowledge applies to the “real” world and/or a future career. They want to study authentic data and processes, using appropriate research tools. In "Where Did the Ozone Go?," for instance, students work with real ozone data that is being studied around the world by researchers in universities, government agencies, and private corporations. Students analyze the data in the same ways that professional scientists do by using powerful image processing and analysis technology. From the analysis of their collected data, students are able to form conclusions and make decisions.


Integrating Science Process and Information Technology Skills

Powers of Inquiry lessons incorporate science process skills with an emphasis on observing, measuring, organizing, representing, analyzing, synthesizing, communicating, and acting. For instance, in "Where Did the Ozone Go," students use a variety of image processing and analysis techniques to observe and measure the size of the ozone hole over time, organize the data they gather in tables, graph the data, analyze it by observing patterns and trends, and synthesize these observations with other information they have learned. They also communicate their conclusions and decisions about how their actions will change based on their new knowledge. Students acquire these science process skills by using information technology tools including image processing and analysis, spreadsheet, and graphing software.

 
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