Designing Appropriate Scaffolding for Student Science Projectsby: Marie Johnson and Mark Smith

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The authors have developed a successful approach to teaching and inspiring undergraduate science and nonscience majors to complete creditable, semester-long, hands-on science research projects. This approach utilizes a carefully developed scaffolding consisting of in-class exercises and discussions, preparatory homework and lab events, and three well-calibrated milestones prior to submission of students’ final report. This scaffolding has increased student confidence and the caliber of final projects.

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  • on Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:18 AM

Discover how instructors at an Academy designed an environmental course for undergraduates that introduced the nature of science and the scientific method as a way to consider and solve real world problems through observation, hypothesizing, data collection and analysis. The students gained an understanding of how scientists do science by becoming scientists, too. The article shows how the instructors used scaffolding of lessons (both in-class and out-of-class assignments) to prepare students for their projects. One of the hooks for engaging students was the use of Myth Busters program segments. Whether you are teaching elementary, middle, or high school students, this article has great ideas for how to scaffold learning, involve students in phenomena of every day life, help them to distinguish between good and bad science, and practice those processes that research scientists, engineers, ornithologists, environmentalists, etc., engage in each day.

Carolyn Mohr  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn Mohr (Buffalo Grove, IL)

  • on Tue May 10, 2011 3:43 PM

This article shows how to guide high school students who are embarking on an environmental hands on project using scaffolding techniques to balance ' complete student freedom and step by step guidance' Students need to be grounded in what it means to think scientifically.

Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton

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