Inqiury Based Learning in STEM Education: Technology

Just Breathe

According to World Health Organization (WHO), more than seven million people die every year due to air pollution.

Let’s investigate air pollution, how it is monitored and its effects on human health. You can collect or analyze data for your city in terms of the levels of air pollution and investigate the effect of air pollution on human health.








IBL in this Example

Characteristics of IBL

How to use IBL in STEM Ed

This IBL activity requires the students to ask questions arising from the diagram (“Where does this peek come from?”, “There seems to be more ozone in summer. Why is that so?”), form hypotheses and test them through research (“Maybe it’s the fireworks. Let’s see whether they do cause particulate matter!”) und discuss their results.

IBL is characterized as follows:


  • create their own scientifically oriented questions;
  • give priority to evidence in responding to questions;
  • formulate explanations based on evidence;
  • connect explanations to scientific knowledge;
  • communicate and justify explanations

Conclusion: IBL tasks are self differentiating tasks

Usually, the students process an IBL task as follows (Research Cycle)

  1. Formulate a specific question (Ask)
  2. Use the existing knowledge to understand the problem and investigating possible solutions (Investigate)
  3. Create new findings based on the previous findings (Create)
  4. Discuss the explanation (Discuss) 
  5. Evaluate the result and, if necessary, improve the solution (Reflect)

Tasks presented

• Are accessible by all students

• Provide achievable challenges

• Develop fluency, understanding and processes

• Offer multiple entry points

• Involve using a range of methods and strategies

•Value the process rather than the answer


The role of a teacher in using IBL in STEM education

• Looks into and challenges student thinking and reasoning

• Instigates the evaluation and communication of strategies

• Uncovers misconceptions

• Supports student to learn from mistakes

• Provokes and stimulates the exploration of alternative routes

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