LabVenture: Each LabVenture! station is has students working in peer teams and is grounded in the scientific method. Teamwork and exposure to the processes of science are key.
This Activity: This activity has students reflecting on their LabVenture! experience as they view the data they collected throughout their experience on their websites. It also brings students back into their peer teams to get them thinking about specific steps of the scientific method, such as forming hypotheses and conclusionis.
Vital Signs:


Title: Effective Science Communicators

Author(s): GMRI

Grade Level: 5 & 6

Setting: Classroom with laptops or computer lab (1 computer with Internet access per LabVenture team)

Pre- or Post-visit: Written as post-visit, but could be easily modified as a pre-visit activity

Time Needed: 1-2 class periods depending on length of discussions and assessment choice

Focus Concept/ Skill: Communication

Essential Questions:
§ How do scientists communicate their ideas and findings effectively with others?
§ How can I contribute to a scientific team?
§ What are the key elements of a scientific hypothesis?
§ What are the key elements of a scientific conclusion?

Learning Objectives/ Goals:
§ Students review and evaluate their work as X-Fish scientists
§ Students improve their ability to form a well-supported scientific hypothesis/ conclusion
§ Students practice and hone their communication skills

Relevant Standards:
§ Scientific method [MLR J.2]
§ Supporting claims with evidence [MLR K.6, K.7, K.8]
§ Communication [MLR L.2, L.3]
§ Teamwork [MLR L.6]

Prior Knowledge Needed:
§ Understanding of or experience with the scientific method (hypothesis and conclusion)

Materials Needed:
§ Computer with Internet access
§ http://mystery.gmri.org
§ LabVenture username & password
§ iMovie or video camera optional
§ Projector optional

Activity Description:

Overview
It is an important life skill for students to be able to effectively communicate their ideas and support them with evidence. This activity uses the LabVenture team websites to help students develop and refine these essential communication skills. It provides a meaningful way for students to review their X-Fish experience, and to delve more deeply into specific parts of the scientific method. Students will work with their teammates to understand the elements of a solid hypothesis and conclusion, and to practice honing their scientific communication skills.

Procedure
1. As a class, answer the question: What makes a good scientific hypothesis/ conclusion? Record the student-generated list of criteria and post in a central, visible location.

§ To spark discussion, it may be useful to first show a stock LabVenture hypothesis/conclusion video (http://mystery.gmri.org/students/default.aspx?StudentId=1212) or review a written hypothesis/conclusion
§ Ask students questions that lead them to think about their presentation style, participation, behavior, professional voice, thoughtful ideas, well-supported claims, …

2. In your LabVenture team, log on to your website.

3. Watch your hypothesis and conclusion videos from each LabVenture station. Pay special attention to what you did really well and what you could improve. Did your video meet the list of criteria?

4. After you have watched all of your videos and have compared them to the criteria, choose your best video to share with the class.

5. As a class, watch all of the best team videos. Be prepared to tell the class why you chose this video. Which criteria does it meet?

6. With your team, now choose one video you think needs the most improvement. Work with your teammates to figure out how to improve your hypothesis/conclusion. Try to include as many of the criteria as possible.

7. Present your improved video to the class. Use iMovie, a video camera, or do an oral report. You may want to show your original video first, explain why you didn’t think it communicated your ideas well enough, and then show/present your new hypothesis/conclusion.
.
Assessment Ideas:
1. Create a formal rubric based on the student-generated list of criteria.
  • Peer-review: Students who are watching the final hypothesis/conclusion reports will assess the presentations according to the rubric
  • Self-assessment: Students will use the rubric to assess their own final hypothesis/conclusion report

Extension Ideas:
1. Apply your new communication skills, and hypothesis-/conclusion-building skills to a new research question

2. Use your videos as a springboard to practice your technical science writing skills (write a formal lab report) or practice your creative science writing skills (write a blog entry for a specific audience: elementary school students, parents, scientists)

Resources:
http://mystery.gmri.org

Teacher Survey

Student Survey