FASTLY - Faith & Science Teaching

Part 2: Models & Methods of Investigation


3. Investigations


If you’re able to follow the sequence tested in the pilot course, then the next three weeks will be spent conducting inquiry-based, investigative labs. Two different labs can be completed over the first two weeks (if the timing of your class sessions allows for this), with the second lab extending into a process of public presentation and peer review in the third week.

After these labs and public presentations, the pilot school took two additional weeks to engage with a third lab and allow time for reviewing everything learned during the activities of this theme.

When planning this phase of the course, you may choose any topics for your labs that fit your expertise, resources, and science curriculum, or you may choose to use this as an opportunity to address topics that explore gaps in your regular curriculum.

Each lab should create an extended opportunity for collaborative, open-ended inquiry. Good examples for investigations that achieve this can be found at:

You might consider having students review one another’s findings and methods. Making formal presentations is an option that creates opportunities to discuss the communal nature of the scientific enterprise and the virtues needed to participate well in a communal investigative process.

Alongside the labs themselves, each week should include:

  • Framing activity: An activity that gives direction to students’ reflections on what they are doing and makes overarching themes explicit.
  • In-class reflection: Time allotted to consider the connections between the lab and the framing themes.
  • Journal prompt: An activity to encourage further reflection, which should also be discussed in class the next day.
  • Debrief: Time to discuss the connection between the week’s learning and the course’s overarching theme of faith and science.

Following are suggestions that can be used in any sequence to fit your lab topics.

Next Topic:
Motives (First Lab)