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Generating opportunities: Strategies to elevate Science and Engineering Practices using ChatGPT

The Science Teacher—March/April 2024 (Volume 91, Issue 2)

By Andrew Kipp, Nathan Hawk, Gustavo Perez

Within this Idea Bank, we offer practical strategies to integrate ChatGPT across three science and engineering practices (i.e., asking questions and defining problems, planning and carrying out investigations, and analyzing and interpreting data) during engineering design challenges. ChatGPT offers newfound student choice, interest, and motivation, and we share relevant and useful prompts to guide student application in the aforementioned SEP outcomes. To meet the “asking questions and defining problems” outcome, students can use closed- and open-ended questions in ChatGPT throughout the engineering design challenge to engage in inquiry. This practice can help students better conceptualize the initial challenge by introducing and unpacking relevant factors, variables, constraints, criteria, theories, and characteristics. To improve access in understanding the challenge, ChatGPT presents an on-demand option that elaborates unfamiliar terms, translates terminology or text to another language, and introduces text-based scaffolding. To address the “planning and carrying out investigations” and “analyzing and interpreting data” outcomes, ChatGPT supports extended opportunities to brainstorm possible investigations and solutions, conduct theoretical experiments with conceptual and hypothetical results, analyze data both qualitatively and quantitatively, and suggest follow-up options from data analysis. Thus, ChatGPT enhances opportunities for SEP outcomes within engineering design challenges.

Science and Engineering Practices STEM Teaching Strategies Technology High School

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