Extensions

Data Nuggets can be extended and adapted beyond the basic template. Below are some of the ideas from teachers and professors that we have gathered from discussions and presenting at workshops:

  • Many Data Nuggets come with additional materials that you can share with your students in the classroom. These can be found in a box at the end of the Teacher Guide, and on the web page for each activity. For example, we often include videos of the scientist discussing their research, scientific articles, or blogs written for the public discussing the scientists’ work in more depth. In many cases, scientists are also willing to share their original datasets for students to use for exploratory data analysis and to answer additional scientific questions. While we don’t host these original data files on our website (to protect the scientists’ work), many have said they would be happy to share with classrooms directly. Just send us an email!

  • You can use Data Nuggets to help your students practice scientific writing – the challenge of unearthing the story within an experiment is a difficult but rewarding process, and by creating their own Data Nugget students must come up with the story within a set of data and provide relevant background information. A student does not have to have their own data to create one. There are large datasets available online, or students could interview a scientist from a local university or over Skype, and make one based on that person’s work. As an added bonus, we love hosting teacher and student-created resources on our website, and if your students create a Data Nugget we could make it available on our site to be used in classrooms across the country!

  • For a classroom lab, you could have students create a Data Nugget instead of writing up the typical lab report. Because Data Nuggets cover all steps of the scientific process, students can use the Template as a guided way to create a report of the background information, hypothesis, methods, data collected, results, and interpretation.

  • For a classroom lab, a teacher could create a Data Nugget to lead a guided inquiry activity. By providing the first two paragraphs of the Research Background but leaving the rest of the Data Nugget for students to complete, a teacher could use Data Nuggets to introduce a topic and then guide students to come up with their own scientific question and test it using their own experimental design.

  • Many teachers customize the “Interpret the data” and “Your next steps as a scientist” sections of the template. Here you can add additional discussion or clarifying questions for your students to complete. While we strive to keep the Data Nugget template streamlined so students can complete the activities in one class period or less, we welcome any adjustments to our template! Send us an email if you would like the original Word document for editing. Some example questions include:

    • What are these scientists curious about — what do they want to know?
    • What data will the scientists collect?
    • How will this data help scientists answer — make claims about — their questions?
    • Write out the scientist’s hypothesis in your own words.
    • If the data were to support the hypothesis, what are the predictions?
    • What are the scientist’s predictions?
    • Did this study fully answer the scientist’s question?
    • Consider the experimental design. Are there any biases in the data collection methods? What are potential sources of human error
    • Identify one strength and one weakness of the current study.
      • Does the experimental design adequately address the issues of replication, randomization, and experimental control?
    • For the “Next steps as a scientist” section, have students come up with their own questions and design their own experiment:
      • What data would you collect to answer the question?
        • Independent variable(s):                                                             
        • Dependent variable(s):                                                                                    
      • Describe the design for your study. For each variable, explain why you included it and how it could be measured.
      • What are your predictions?
      • What hypothesis are you testing?