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Using technology to engage students in science through inquiry research

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Keywords: research, inquiry, technology, science
Subject(s): Science, Biology
Grades 11 through 12
School: Delta High School, Muncie, IN
Planned By: Lance Brand
Original Author: Lance Brand, Muncie
Students will choose a different animal to study and then focus on a question about animal behavior that could be investigated at the zoo (ethology), such as, “Do juvenile ring-tailed lemurs spend more time displaying play behaviors than adults?’ or “What percentage of time do giraffes spend feeding?” Research groups will then be responsible for forming a hypothesis, developing research procedures, and data tables to be utilized at the zoo. Procedures and data tables will be peer reviewed and finally signed off on by the teacher. Finally, prior to going to the zoo students will present their proposed research study to a ethology researcher from Ball State University.

Groups will then use the data collected at the zoo, along with information from research to create an educational video presentation that explains the behavior of their animal species.

As an essential part of this inquiry project, research groups need to be able to capture video as well as stil images of their animal(s) for data analysis later. Unfortunately, the poverty level among my students is high (34%) and they are unable to access the video resources necessary to make this inquiry research project successful for all students.

Through our "Zoo Inquiry" students in my class will learn about experimental design, accurate data collection, data analysis, and developing and giving a professional presentation. Video of the animals will allow the students to collect data on behaviors more accurately as well as review what they observed. This inquiry project will be conducted during the spring semester of 2010 and will be repeated annually.

You can help my students experience real science using technology in an engaging and exciting way!
Materials: Flip Video