Develop Student Inquiry with Phenomena

Beetle

What are Phenomena?

Phenomena are observable events that occur in the world.

Serving as the context for both scientists and engineers in their work, phenomena are predicted through scientific knowledge, which is then used to create solutions to real-world problems.

Centering STEM education on phenomena elevates student comprehension beyond memorizing concepts to understanding how and why things happen in the world around them.

Using the three dimensions of NGSS, students engage in the inquiry, explanation, and application of phenomena within the classroom—similarly to how scientists and engineers approach problem solving in the real world today.

Types of Phenomena

Within STEMscopes CA NGSS 3D

Anchoring Phenomena

Found in each segment, anchoring phenomena tie the segment’s scopes together with a central question and coherent mission that students get to solve progressively as they learn the content through each scope activity.

  • Addressed through the mission log and mission action plan in each segment.
  • Provide coherence to all the scopes under the segment.
  • Complex: require use of the knowledge and practices of all 3 dimensions, learned across the segment‘s scopes.
  • Use STEMscopes lesson activities to provide observable evidence of learning across the segment.

Example: The Sun’s fundamental role in powering different types of renewable energy (e.g., wind).

Investigative Phenomena

Kicking off each scope, investigative phenomena drive a scope’s 5E activities and culminate in a claim-evidence-reasoning assessment. Together, the investigative phenomena inform the anchoring phenomena.

  • Coherently tie the scope‘s 5E + intervention and acceleration elements together.
  • Integral to the scope‘s lab activities, literacy elements, and differentiation resources.
  • Culminates in an end-of-scope claim-evidence-reasoning assessment.

Example: How can wind energy become electricity to light your home?

Everyday Phenomena

Found in all lesson activities and enriched by your students’ real-world experiences, everyday phenomena tie the scope activities to your students’ everyday lives. Each everyday phenomenon provides context to the investigative phenomena.

  • Connect scope content to student background knowledge, everyday observations, and personal interests.
  • Solicited by the teacher and can be used to guide / modify segments to maximize engagement.

Example: How does current flow through a circuit when I turn on a switch?