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Phenomena Resources

Students Should Make Sense of Science Phenomena

DNR Image - Devil's Doorway at Devil's Lake State ParkThe core statement of the Wisconsin Standards for Science is that students should use their conceptual understanding, science and engineering practices, and a lens of crosscutting concepts to make sense of phenomena and solve problems. The role of a teacher is not as a dispenser of information, but a facilitator of students' opportunities to do and think scientifically. Local, community-related phenomena engage students and make science meaningful, preparing students for life beyond school in college, in careers, and as citizens. A good phenomenon often has no one right answer, but is a specific event or connection within the natural or designed world, ideally that students can directly experience. Further definitions of phenomena, resources for using them, and listings of them: 

Defining and Using Phenomena Listings of Phenomena
  • Appendix A of the WSS - this appendix provides a range of Wisconsin-specific science contexts linked to the core ideas at each grade level. Often, a teacher would have to connect to a specific instance related to these contexts to make it a phenomenon.
  • Georgia Science Teachers Association Phenomena Bank - created by teachers; linked to the Georgia standards, which are very similar to ours in Wisconsin  
  • Data nuggets - resource from Michigan State University that asks students to build understanding of actual examples of scientific research and data
  • NGSS Phenomena Website - database of short video clips, images, and resources created by TJ McKenna
  • #projectphenomenon  - database of phenomena
  • Eureka Alert - Twitter feed with AAAS daily science news, images, videos, and more
  • SciJourner - science news and graphics, most relevant for secondary and beyond students
For questions about this information, contact Kevin Anderson (608) 266-3319