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.
High School students, as scientists, use science ideas about natural resources to investigate the following driving question: How does where you live and work affect your risk for mesothelioma? Students analyze data about disparities in mesothelioma cases in Ambler, Pennsylvania, and two surrounding cities and decide to investigate the difference in case numbers. Students obtain and evaluate information and data about mesothelioma, asbestos, asbestos mining, and genetic risk factors for mesothelioma. Students also evaluate information and analyze data about a second city, Libby, Montana. Students figure out that the disparate mesothelioma case numbers in the two cities are caused by multiple factors including asbestos exposure and genetics. Students write an explanation of the disparities in mesothelioma case numbers.
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Per Small Group (2 to 4 students)
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