By Patricia D. Morrell, Kate Popejoy (eds.)

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This is important as science is not done in a vacuum. 52 NATURE OF SCIENCE • The PBL scenario presents a perfect storyline to engage the students in this task. It presents a scientific problem (SI) that guides the activity and also provides some foundational information about principles and laws of geology that govern geological sciences. Students must understand that laws and theories guide scientific knowledge (NOS) and this PBL describes these well. Also, engaging students in the activity helps them stay motivated and on task.

This showed each student that they were not ‘alone’ in their view. Most students believed that they would have to keep pushing the puck across the table. Some felt that it would need one push only, while some believed that they would have to push, then wait, then push again. When everyone was clear on the range of possibilities, and the arguments for them, I called for volunteers and we performed the experiment. In fact, they only needed one push to make the puck travel at an even rate which was contradictory to what most of them expected, given their experience of pushing such things as supermarket trolleys.

To avoid this, Misja Carbo and Penny Hondrakis (Using Logbooks in Year 10 Electricity)5 asked the students to make a special “logbook” out of the (recycled) paper and card they provided. Because the logbook was not their regular science book, students were more willing to commit their ideas and predictions to paper. First they asked the students to draw up a concept map using terms from the unit on static electricity that they had done in year 9. The Logbook helped here because it did not seem to matter as much to get “the right answer” on paper.

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