December 22, 2011

Students into Scientists

Deirdre Bailey and Amy Park
Cross-posted on Calgary Science School's Connect!

It began with a conversation on how best to develop deep understanding of biological cycles. When we considered simply slicing fruit and vegetables in half and leaving them out in the open to observe the resulting changes, we never anticipated the smells, the new life, or the learning that would ensue.

The suggestion that we use Google Docs to facilitate collaboration and data management through the scientific process provided an excellent opportunity for introducing students to the incredible value of  facilitating collaborative research and documentation through technology. Have a look at our students' work, linked directly to our classes' Science Lab Website.

Although our decomposed specimens are now carefully buried in soil, the memory of the experiment is alive and well among our grade 4 students.  From Day 1 to Day 12, these young scientists were engaged, excited, and passionate about their discoveries. Throughout the process, students developed deep understanding of decomposition, the scientific process, collaboration, problem solving, data analysis, and so much more.

The following video outlines the entire process and the amazing learning that resulted.  


  1. This is the BEST example of 21st century, blended learning I have seen. It's AMAZING! Your film demonstrates the best of what teaching can be including careful, researched planning, child-centered design, scientific process, optimal tools including technology, and reflection. I learned a lot from watching this film. Most exciting was the investment, enthusiasm, inquiry and learning evident from students' work and comments. Thanks so much for sharing this outstanding example of teaching at its best!

  2. Maureen,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful positive comments! It is so exciting to have support and understanding from other teachers like yourself, we are so thrilled to be able to share our work. Kids are inspiring!
    Happy Holidays!
    D + A