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Science is an Inquiry-Based Process

This lesson set allows students to see the power of modeling as part of the scientific process. By using models, scientists are able to develop numerous hypotheses, make claims, and engage in inquiry-driven experimentation. Models are often used when the subject of interest is not readily manipulated or available for use in nature due to either scale or complexity

Age Level
Grades 9-12
4-6 50 minute classes


DCIs (Disciplinary Core Ideas)
HS-LS1.A: Structure and Function
  1. A1.Systems of specialized cells within organisms help them perform the essential functions of life. 
  2. A3.Multicellular organisms have a hierarchical structural organization, in which any one system is made up of numerous parts and is itself a component of the next level. 
Performance Expectations
  1. HS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.
Science and Engineering Practices
  • Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  • Developing and Using Models
NGSS Appendix H: Understanding the Scientific Enterprise: The Nature of Science in the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Science investigations use a variety of methods
  • Scientific models, laws, mechanisms, and theories explain natural phenomena
  • Science is a way of knowing
  • Science is a human endeavor
Other Relevant NGSS References
  1. NGSS Appendix F: Science and Engineering Practices in the NGSS
  2. NGSS Appendix G: Crosscutting Concepts
  3. NGSS Appendix J: Science, Technology, Society and the Environment

Note: Due to the nature of the five lesson sets, these four appendices are a vital component of why these activities are important in the science classroom. While a wide variety of science topics are selected to demonstrate the nature of science, all five lesson sets incorporate the ideals of these four appendices and provide numerous opportunities for the application of scientific knowledge across a variety of disciplines.


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