Sensemaking is actively trying to figure out how the world works (science) or how to design solutions to problems (engineering). Students do science and engineering through the science and engineering practices. Engaging in these practices necessitates that students be part of a learning community to be able to share ideas, evaluate competing ideas, give and receive critique, and reach consensus. Whether this community of learners is made up of classmates or family members, students and adults build and refine science and engineering knowledge together.
Middle school students, as scientists and engineers, evaluate and compare fuels, including alternative ethanol-based fuel, E15, used by NASCAR. Students work together to answer the driving question: How do we evaluate if a fuel is better for the environment? Students develop a model.
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Per Small Group (2 to 4 students)
Optional Teacher Resources