Field investigations create an essential link between classroom activities and what students see and experience outside the school settings. They can provide students with examples of how the science concepts they learn in class are used in everyday life.
Field investigations encourage students to ask questions, explore, observe, and investigate their local environment. Direct observation can provide a stimulating and rewarding experience for you and your students.
Outdoor experiences in nature increase students’ problem-solving abilities and motivation to learn in social studies, science, language arts, and math. Conducting classroom field investigations help students become systems thinkers, learn the skills of scientific inquiry, and understand that science doesn’t only happen in a laboratory or classroom.
Learn more about field investigations and scientific inquiry with these great resources:
- Aquatic WILD Field Investigations
- Engaging students in scientific inquiry from United Federation of Teachers
- Field Investigations: Using Outdoor Environments to Foster Student Learning of Scientific Processes from Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (opens as PDF)
- From Now On FILLING THE TOOL BOX: Classroom Strategies to Engender Student Questioning
- Inquiry-based Learning from WNET and thirteen.org
- Inquiry Based Science: What Does It Look Like?
- Teaching with Great Lakes Data
- University of Montana ECOS Program