Science and Teaching for Field Instructors

What Scientists Do

Science literacy is of great value for any citizen of the world. For students to develop science literacy, it’s important that they not only engage in science practices, but also that they take time to reflect on practices they use, which most students are unlikely to do without scaffolding and support from an instructor. This activity engages students in reflecting on science practices.

This activity has three parts that are meant to be led with students before and after a field experience in which students engage in science practices. The first two parts are meant to be taught at the beginning of a field experience, and the third part at the end of the field experience. In the Science = Adventure introduction, the instructor builds up anticipation and excitement about doing field science. Then the instructor introduces some core field science practices by leading students in using those practices briefly to explore a mysterious object. Later during the Post: Debriefing Science Practices, after other field science experiences (not included in this activity), students reflect back on the science practices they engaged in and experienced.

Students will:
  • Learn about a variety of core practices of scientists.
  • Identify as scientists.
  • Reflect on science practices they have engaged in.
  • Recognize that science can be an adventure!
Download Full Instructor Guide:
What Scientists Do Instructor Guide
What Scientists Do Instructor Guide
Watch Activity

Note: This video was edited to focus on how the instructor leads the activity; the actual activity is much more student-focused, and students spend most of the activity exploring and discussing ideas with their peers.