The development of Project-Based Inquiry Science™ was funded by the National Science Foundation and informed by the latest research from the cognitive and learning sciences. Project-Based Inquiry Science™ has its roots in two educational approaches, Project-Based Science, conceived at the University of Michigan, and Learning by DesignTM, conceived at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Each unit of Project-Based Inquiry Science™ begins with a Big Question or Big Challenge and learning experiences in the unit are sequenced to first help learners understand the project question or challenge, become interested in it, and identify the ways it is meaningful to their lives. Then the Big Question or Big Challenge of the unit drives inquiry throughout the unit. When students see the relevance of science to their lives, they become engaged in learning and gain a deep, long-term understanding of middle-school-level science content and practices, and learn how to use that content and those practices to solve problems.
In Project-Based Inquiry Science™, students do science and learn to reason like scientists. Students design investigations to generate data, judge the trustworthiness of their data, interpret the data to make claims, justify the claims they make, observe like scientists, and develop explanations. Students also learn to collaborate and communicate, to build on the work of others, to present to others, and to actively listen. Students do read and learn about the investigations scientists have done and make inferences that combine commonly accepted science knowledge and the claims they have generated, however, reading only takes place after students have been actively engaged in exploring a concept.
Kit components are identified, designed, and tested over time to meet the needs of the activities specific to the Project-Based Inquiry Science™ program. In some cases, kit equipment is specifically configured for a lab activity. For example, the It's About Time® Coaster Car is an item that was uniquely configured by It’s About Time for the Project-Based Inquiry Science™ Vehicles in Motion unit. The It's About Time® Technology Lab Extensions provide detailed data logger and probeware setup as well as step-by-step procedural instructions for twenty activities in Project-Based Inquiry Science. These activities can be used in conjunction with our einstein™ Tablet+ or Fourier data loggers and sensors.
It’s About Time® is committed to providing comprehensive, ongoing professional-development support services for districts or schools implementing Project-Based Inquiry Science™. Our highly experienced implementation specialists will lead workshops to get you started with teaching PProject-Based Inquiry Science™, follow-up sessions that provide additional content and pedagogical support, as well as online and onsite mentoring. Also, our ever-expanding “Just-in-Time 24/7” CyberPD is always available offering videos that feature Section-by-Section equipment set up, Teacher Demonstrations, Unit Walkthroughs for several units, as well as Pedagogical support. In development and already available for several units, are interactive, electronic Teacher’s Planning Guides.