NASA ePDN and Georgia Institute of Technology STEM Certificates and Self Directed Courses

NASA ePDN - Electronic Professional Development Network

Project-Based Inquiry Learning: Science Teaching & Learning for the 21st Century


Develop your skills in designing and using project-based inquiry learning (PBIL) to enhance conceptual understanding, critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving in standards-based classrooms. Experience and analyze two NASA-oriented PBIL projects first-hand; learn PBIL curriculum design strategies and methods; design a PBIL unit for use in your classroom. Use ePDN's suite of online tools to collaborate, connect, and create with other course participants.

Course 1: What is Project-Based Inquiry Learning?

Secondary science teachers will develop skill in using problem-based inquiry learning (PBIL), to enhance conceptual understanding, critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving. Participants will 1) complete a PBIL in a NASA-oriented context first-hand; 2) analyze PBIL curriculum and resources to develop design acumen; and 3) begin designing a PBIL unit for their classroom.

Course length: 5 weeks | CEU's awarded: 2.5

Course 2: Creating a PBIL Experience

Participants will use the basics of PBIL presented in Course 1 to continue crafting a PBIL experience for their classroom. Using backwards design (Wiggins & Tighes) and the 7-E model for curriculum development and design, participants will analyze and reconfigure existing NASA-themed resources to create a PBIL experience for students. The course will cover several important topics in PBIL, including: standards-based design, engaging students effectively, formative and summative assessment, and development of science process skills along with science content knowledge.

Course length: 4 weeks | CEU's awarded: 2.0

Course 3: Implementing Your PBIL Experience

Participants will finalize the PBIL project created in courses 1 and 2. Topics include: assessment and evaluation; classroom management; and materials and equipment management. The course is paired with Course 4, which is the implementation and reflection course.

Course length: 2 weeks | CEU's awarded: 1.0

Course 4: Share and Evaluate Your PBIL Experience

Over the course of a semester participants will work with their peer-reflection group and the facilitator to report on the progress and outcomes of their PBIL classroom implementation. This course involves actual course work that has to be done within the course management system and more real-world application work.

Course length: 2 weeks of coursework over 12 weeks | CEU's awarded: 1.0