Experimental Design


SciGuides are a collection of thematically aligned lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources for teachers to use with their students centered on standards-aligned science concepts.

This SciGuide addresses how students can improve the design of investigations and understand how scientists do science. The format of this SciGuide is designed to help all precollege teachers (K-4, 5-8, and 9-12) design inquiry investigations.

  • Elementary
  • Middle
  • High

Community ActivitySaved in 2537 Libraries

Reviews (9)
  • on Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:55 PM

SciGuides are really fantastic.When it's time to teach about how to be a scientist, I can be confident knowing I'll have the Experimental Design SciGuide to go to for lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources. I'll be able to create outstanding lessons in a shorter amount of time since many resources are easily accessible in this SciGuide

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:12 PM

Although I have not had an opportunity to use all the material listed in this resource what I have reviewed is great. Lots of ideas all together to pick and choose from for designing my curriculum unit. There is obviously more than I can use at one time.

Yolanda Smith-Evans  (Houston, TX)
Yolanda Smith-Evans (Houston, TX)

  • on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:16 AM

How I wish I had found this sci-guide long time ago. Its got complete array of linkages for preparing students for investigatory lessons in science. It's got solid resources on teaching the rudiments of inquiry based learning as well as the foundation for project based learning. This can also make a good resource for those preparing for science fairs.

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Wed May 18, 2011 11:30 PM

We all want to implement inquiry experimentation in our science classrooms, but learning how to do it successfully without our own experimentation and probable failures discourages us from making the needed changes in curriculum. I liked the links that explain inquiry to our students - after all, they need to understand it as well, and they have had the "scientific method" drilled into them for years. It may not be all inclusive, but there is a wealth of information in this SciGuide.

Jennifer Rahn  (Delafield, WI)
Jennifer Rahn (Delafield, WI)

  • on Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:25 PM

Great resource! I found many links to journals and activities that I will be able to use with my students. Can't wait to link some of these to my class website!

Rachel  (Willoughby, OH)
Rachel (Willoughby, OH)

  • on Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:54 PM

This SciGuide has given me such a deeper understanding of inquiry-based learning. We easily use the word inquiry without thinking much into the different levels of inquiry and how we actually want our students to become scientists. I am very much a culprit of setting detailed parameters of a task to be completed or setting up a challenge and having students explore that way. However, this SciGuide has opened my eyes to a variety of ways to instruct on inquiry. No longer are “hands-on” activities enough, but the SciGuide suggests that students must be “minds-on” as well. I couldn’t agree more! If my students are engaged in an activity, I want to seriously consider what they are learning: do I want them to learn a process or concept? Upon reflecting and thinking of my own values, I want to build true scientists. I want them to be able to think on their own, create a hypothesis, test it, and analyze the results. This SciGuide helped me to identify the various levels of inquiry within a lesson, determine the design process for students to follow, and helped me to see how to assess the students throughout their journey of inquiry.

Sherilynn C
Sherilynn C

  • on Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:34 PM

Good resource for planning experimental investigations. Easy to follow and practical for the novice teacher.

Yolanda Smith-Evans  (Houston, TX)
Yolanda Smith-Evans (Houston, TX)

  • on Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:28 PM

I enjoyed going through this SciGuide specifically because it was broken down into various grade-levels (K-4, 5-8, 9-12) and discussed the importance of looking at what students should be able to do across the continuum of grades. It also stressed the importance of designing investigations that are authentic, active processes that are both hands-on and minds-on. The lessons were mapped out according to grade level, as stated, and this was further divided into sections called "Designing an Experiment", "Scientific Investigations", and the "Scientific Method". These had links for both teachers and students (SciLinks) that had a great number of resources to use in the classroom. I especially liked learningscience.org and the link "Tools to do Science", as well as some of the science games for students. I will definitely use the information for my grade four students in laying the foundations of inquiry based learning. I thought the lessons were grade-appropriate and a good place to start the four phases of asking, predicting, trying, and observing. Overall, the site was full of useful links and ideas for the beginning of the year and getting kids involved in the scientific process.

Paula Roknick-Evans
Paula Roknick-Evans

  • on Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:00 PM

This is an okay resource. After browsing through, I thought that their would be more credible sites. I did not expect to have found wikipedia sites, I expected more, but still found the information useful.


Free - NSTA Members

$5.95 - Nonmembers

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.