Tools for Scientific Thinking

developed by: Ron Thornton and David Sokoloff

Level
 
middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school   other


 Intro College Calculus-based
calc based
 Intro College Algebra-based
alg based

Topics
Mechanics  Thermal / Statistical
Setting
Lab  Studio


What? Laboratory activities that use microcomputer-based laboratory tools to develop both conceptual understanding and quantitative laboratory skills. Each activity consists of a series of guided investigations suitable for either the high school or introductory college laboratory.

Instructor effort required

  • Low

Resources required

  • Computers for students
  • Advanced lab equipment
  • Cost for students
  • Tables for group work

Developer's website: Tools for Scientific Thinking
RESEARCH VALIDATION
Bronze Validation
This is the third highest level of research validation, corresponding to:
  • at least 1 of the "based on" categories
  • at least 1 of the "demonstrated to improve" categories
  • at least 1 of the "studied using" categories
(Categories shown below)

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • theories of how students learn
  • student ideas about specific topics

Demonstrated to Improve:

  • conceptual understanding
  • problem-solving skills
  • lab skills
  • beliefs and attitudes
  • attendance
  • retention of students
  • success of underrepresented groups
  • performance in subsequent classes

Studied using:

  • cycle of research and redevelopment
  • student interviews
  • classroom observations
  • analysis of written work
  • research at multiple institutions
  • research by multiple groups
  • peer-reviewed publication