How Will I Know What's Been Learned?
Here are some assessment strategies you might consider:
Have students keep design folders with sketches, pages from web sites, notes, and measurement records. Ask
them to pick two entries from their folder. Give students time to tell you why they selected each one and explain what it shows.
Observe students as they design and test their collectors. Listen to their comments and questions and use them to
engage students in conversations about what they are doing and discovering.
Use the challenge as preparation for the science process and content sections of state proficiency tests by having
students write research reports. Ask them to include answers to the following questions:
What did you predict?
What did you do?
What data did you collect?
What did you learn?
Have students make oral presentations that include the following:
Introductiongets the audience's attention.
Key ideasprovides details.
Evidencetells the audience what the researcher found.
Conclusionreminds the audience what the talk was about.
Integrate the challenge into language arts. During the challenge, have students create "Challenge
Word Lists" with terms and definitions that are important or new to them. At the end of the challenge, ask students to write
paragraphs that use correct technical vocabulary to describe what they did and discovered. Look for the following
Titletells what the paragraphs are about.
Topic sentencegives the main idea of each paragraph.
Supporting sentencesgive ideas or reasons to support the main idea in the topic sentence.
Detail sentencesgive extra information about particular supporting sentences.
Concluding sentencesums up the paragraph.
On Catching Sunshine Day, have students put the solar collectors in a long line starting with the
collector that resulted in the greatest temperature increase. Then discuss as a class which solar collector worked best and why.
Before the challenge, administer and score a pre-challenge questionnaire. At the end of the challenge,
administer and score a matched post-challenge questionnaire. Compare the scores to gauge what students have learned. Also, have
students compare their responses and comment on their learning.
Click here for a sample questionnaire.