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Paper: Thinking and Acting Like Scientists: Inquiry in the Undergraduate Astronomy Classroom
Volume: 457, Connecting People to Science
Page: 225
Authors: Cobb, B. E.
Abstract: Students can benefit from a more authentic scientific experience in introductory astronomy laboratories. Rather than simply following step-by-step instructions to replicate well-known results, students in inquiry labs are forced to think critically and fully engage in the scientific process. Developing inquiry labs and activities can, however, be a challenging task. I present here some resources available for undergraduate-level educators who are interested in bringing inquiry into their classrooms. Even minor changes to current traditional labs can provide students with the opportunity to answer scientific questions more independently. I also introduce the idea of substituting scientific “poster” sessions for traditional “lab reports” to provide students with immediate feedback as well as exposure to their peers' work and thinking. Allowing students to think and act more like scientists can increase their interest and engagement in science and enhance their basic understanding of the scientific process.
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