5. Question Lab

Communicating Science studnets in the Questioning Lab


The Question Lab can be one of the most exciting and rewarding sessions of the Communicating Science course, because the course participants have the opportunity to interact directly with young students. The goal for participants is to attempt to put theory into practice in a safe environment—to apply their questioning plans in a real-life teaching context.

— If the invited students are children, participants get an added benefit in that some college students have not had much opportunity to be around much younger students, and may be a little nervous about how to work with and talk with them. Course participants quickly learn whether or not their questioning strategies are effective—the students let them know by the ways they respond.

— Through working with young students, participants also learn the importance of being flexible and realistic with their instructional plans.

— In addition to interacting directly with the students, in this session course participants have the opportunity to watch an instructor (one of the course presenters or someone of your choice) model how to lead a discussion with students.

The suggested Sink-Float activity is an excellent platform for this purpose. Some brief scientific background is provided on the next two pages.

The opportunity to see ideas about teaching and learning put into practice can be quite powerful. Just by watching how eager and excited children get about simple materials and discoveries—and seeing how hard it is for them to wait to be called upon when they raise their hands—can be an eye-opener for some course participants.


Session 5: Question Lab (as a PDF)

Session 5: Question Lab (PowerPoint, supplemental)