According to the National Science Foundation's Overview of the Standards, "Learning science is something that students do, not something that is done to them. Hands-on activities, while essential, are not enough. Students must have minds-on experiences as well. Inquiry is central to science learning. When engaging in inquiry, students describe objects and events, ask questions, construct explanations, test those explanations against current scientific knowledge, and communicate their ideas to others. They identify their assumptions, use critical and logical thinking, and consider alternative explanations. In this way, students actively develop their understanding of science by combining scientific knowledge with reasoning and thinking skills."To learn more about what inquiry is, visit The Exploratorium Institute of Inquiry.
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