By eighth grade, American students are falling behind their peers in other countries in their scores on assessments such as the Trends in Mathematics and Science Survey (TIMSS 2011). One attempt to change this trend focuses on inquiry-based, student-centered science teaching. The National Research Council national science inquiry content standards state that high school students should learn to (NRC 2005):

Understand the questions and background that direct a research project
Develop scientific investigations
Use data to devise a scientific hypothesis
Express and support a scientific argument

However, it is widely recognized that traditional lecture-based teaching approaches and cookbook-style labs show students the process of science, but do not allow them to develop critical thinking. Although teaching methods are changing, many teachers have to relearn their profession to become skilled at student-centered science.

T4O offers students the opportunity to pose and answer their own scientific questions and teachers to develop their ability to help students conduct inquiry-based science.

Among the key barriers to classroom learning is the relevance of science to the student’s life. Motivation and relevance are essential ingredients to learning. Through T4O, students will learn how science is the tool that enables them to make sense of their world and the environment in which they live. The current generation of teens is as altruistic as any previous and is much better informed about the global environment than any preceding it.

It is up to us to protect our Planet!