Inquiry connects students to meaningful questions and problem-solving in the world around them. As inquiry builds on students' interests and identities, it inherently becomes a community endeavor. As students collaboratively work to answer questions and address problems, they develop skills for their future careers, college learning, and community engagement. Inquiry is a vital part of the expected learning for all students detailed in our state academic standards in mathematics, environmental literacy and sustainability, social studies, and science. Through a statewide inquiry experience, we aim to support connections among communities and educators and share the amazing work our students are doing.
Why Water? Our Inquiry Theme for 2019-2024
Students at all grade levels can connect to water from a personal, community, and cultural perspective. It permeates all aspects of our lives, but we often take it for granted. Not only does water connect to our state academic standards, but it connects to the work of families and industry and research everywhere. 2019 is the "The Year of Clean Drinking Water" in Wisconsin. As a result, dozens of organizations are coming together to support and encourage a long-term statewide inquiry experience for students focusing on this theme of WATER. Projects can be conducted and shared anytime during the school year. A core science project and water-related science ideas can be found on the science page.
This initiative will be kicked-off during the 2019 Wisconsin Science Festival and annually this event will serve as a venue to share and build connections around water inquires. Educators can also learn about this initiative at the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education Annual Conference in Madison on Friday, November 15 from 4:00-4:20.
Sharing work through Siftr
We encourage educators to use to Siftr to share data, lessons, student work, images, etc.. Siftr is designed to make collecting and sharing data easy and is available through both through web and app platforms. Use this basic Siftr guide to get started or follow the directions below:
You will first be asked to create a quick account, then you will:
- upload an image of the work done (could be a screen shot of a lesson or image of students doing field work)
- zoom in and pan to move a black dot onto the specific location on a map where the work was done
- select the type of item you're uploading - a water activity for others to access, a STEAM/STEM activity and related information, student generated data, existing professional water-related information (such as data); volunteering to support this work, or social studies related water projects
- add a description, ideally with a link, and note the related grade level as applicable.
Done! Your project will then show up on the Wisconsin map (like that on the right).
You can also email Kevin to share your story in a different format, such as an article or blog post. We will share those stories here.