Science Inquiry

Inquiry-based science is an method of teaching science where students learn science by using similar methods, attitudes and skills as scientists do when they are conducting scientific research. Students get to act like 'mini researches.' Students have the opportunity to find their own problems and questions, formulate hypotheses, think up a method for testing their hypothesis, and then using the data they have collected to decide the hypothesis was correct and thus try to answer their original question.

Inquiry-based science is based on the constructivist theory of learning. It can be contrasted with traditional education and direct instruction which emphasizes learning facts and information from books and teachers.To truly understand inquiry-based science it is necessary to understand how scientists work and how scientific research is conducted. The ideas of science are the principles, concepts, and theories which scientists have. Science is done in a methodical step-like way. This is known as the "scientific method". Those skills used when doing this are called the science process skills; they include observation, planning, and prediction. Scientists have a number of attitudes when conducting science. They are open-minded, curious, and they cooperate.

Scientists use their background knowledge of principles, concepts and theories, along with the science process skills to construct new explanations to allow them to understand the natural world. This is known as "science inquiry".

When students are learning using inquiry-based science they use the same ideas as scientists do when they are conducting research. Students become 'mini-scientists.'