Connecticut Content Standard 1: The Nature Of Science

Students will experience an inquiry-based learning environment in which they are free to ask questions, seek information and validate explanations in thoughtful and creative ways. Students also will understand that the processes, ways of knowing and conceptual foundations of science are interdependent and inextricably bound.

Grades K - 4

Educational experiences in Grades K - 4 will assure that students:

  • recognize (in Grades K-2) that when a scientific investigation is done in the same way in different places or when repeated many times, the investigation generally has the same results;
  • raise questions (in Grades K-2) about their surroundings and seek answers by making careful observations and trying things out;
  • recognize (in Grades K-2) that tools such as thermometers, magnifiers, rulers or balances often give more information than can be obtained by making observations without them;
  • describe things as accurately as possible (in Grades K-2) because careful, complete observations enable people to compare their observations with those of others;
  • use their senses (in Grades K-2),i.e., sight, taste, sound, touch, smell, to make observations about the natural world and discuss their findings;
  • use open-minded and willing to modify opinions based upon evidence;
  • design and conduct (both in groups and individually) simple experiments, keep accurate records of their findings, and communicate their findings to others using graphs, charts, maps, and oral and written reports;
  • use evidence and logical reasoning as a basis for decision making;
  • recognize that scientists’ explanations about what happens in the world come partly from what they observe and partly from what they believe;
  • recognize that sometimes scientists have different explanations for the same set of observations, which usually leads to additional observations to resolve the differences; and
  • recognize that measuring instruments can be used to gather accurate information for making scientific comparisons of objects and events and for designing and constructing things that will work properly.

Grades 5 - 8

  • Educational experiences in Grades 5 - 8 will assure that students:
  • conduct scientific investigations which generally involve the collection of relevant evidence, the use of logical reasoning and creativity in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the evidence;
  • identify and control variables in experiments;
  • evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of claims, arguments or data;
  • recognize that a variety of experimental designs and strategies can be developed to answer the same question;
  • use appropriate technology as a tool in problem solving;
  • accept the open-ended-ness of scientific inquiry and that scientific findings are not always definite or complete; and
  • use scientific knowledge and ways of thinking in personal decision making.

Grades 9 - 12

Educational experiences in Grades 9 - 12 will assure that students:

  • gather and synthesize information concerning a problem;
  • generate and revise hypotheses based upon empirical data and the requirements of logical reasoning;
  • interpret the results of experimentation using statistical reasoning;
  • critique scientific experiments or research by seeking out possible sources of bias in the design and analysis of data;
  • suggest alternative ways of explaining data and criticize arguments in which data, explanations or conclusions are represented as the only ones worthy of consideration; and
  • prepare and present oral and written scientific reports that communicate in a logical sequence the process, results and validity of scientific experiments and research.


All GEMS Teacher Guides emphasize inquiry. A progression from guided inquiry to independent inquiry is one of the foundation’s of the GEMS philosophy for teaching science and math. Guides that provide particularly strong introductions to inquiry at different grade levels:

Investigating Artifacts
Grades K-6

Oobleck: What Do Scientists Do?
Grades 4-8

Dry Ice Investigations
Grades 6-8

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