|Search Phenomena||Submit Phenomena||What's the big deal about phenomena?
||What makes a good phenomenon?||Phenomenal Resources|
Natural phenomena are observable events that occur in the universe and that we can use our science knowledge to explain or predict. The goal of building knowledge in science is to develop general ideas, based on evidence, that can explain and predict phenomena.
| PHENOMENA BEFORE THE GSE
||PHENOMENA WITH THE SCIENCE GSE
|If it’s something fun, flashy, or involves hands-on activities, it must be engaging.||Authentic engagement does not have to be fun or flashy; instead, engagement is determined more by how the students generate compelling lines of inquiry that create real opportunities for learning.
|Anything students are interested in would make a good “engaging phenomenon.”
||Students need to be able to engage deeply with the material in order to generate an explanation of the phenomenon using target DCIs, CCCs, and SEPs.
|Explanations (e.g., “electromagnetic radiation can damage cells”) are examples of phenomena.
||Phenomena (e.g., a sunburn, vision loss) are specific examples of something in the world that is happening—an event or a specific example of a general process. Phenomena are NOT the explanations or scientific terminology behind what is happening. They are what can be experienced or documented.
|Phenomena are just for the initial hook.
||Phenomena can drive the lesson, learning, and reflection/monitoring throughout. Using phenomena in these ways leads to deeper learning.
|Phenomena are good to bring in after students develop the science ideas so they can apply what they learned.||Teaching science ideas in general (e.g., teaching about the process of photosynthesis) may work for some students, but often leads to decontextualized knowledge that students are unable to apply when relevant. Anchoring the development of general science ideas in investigations of phenomena helps students build more usable and generative knowledge.
|Engaging phenomena need to be questions.||Phenomena are observable occurrences. Students need to use the occurrence to help generate the science questions or design problems that drive learning.
|Student engagement is a nice optional feature of instruction, but is not required.
||Engagement is a crucial access and equity issue. Students who do not have access to the material in a way that makes sense and is relevant to them are disadvantaged. Selecting phenomena that students find interesting, relevant, and consequential helps support their engagement. A good phenomenon builds on everyday or family experiences: who students are, what they do, where they came from.
Adapted from: Using Phenomena in NGSS, Achieve, Inc.