Curriculum» Student Perspective

Students in River City

As visitors to River City, students travel back in time, bringing their 21st century skills and technology to address 19th century problems. River City is a town besieged with health problems. Students work together in small research teams to help the town understand why so many residents are becoming ill. As they explore, they are encouraged to:

  • Form and then test a hypothesis regarding the health and environmental issues they have discovered;
  • Design a procedure with a control and an experimental group, using both current and historically accurate tools, to investigate their hypothesis;
  • Use appropriate tools to make quantitative and qualitative observations;
  • Gather data and then organize it in tables and graphs;
  • Draw conclusions from that evidence, and make inferences based on observed patterns in the data;
  • Report on their experiment and conclusions by writing a research report in the form of a letter to the 'mayor' of River City describing their investigations;
  • Share and synthesize their results with those of their classmates to understand the larger picture; and
  • Analyze their process and results.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 9980464, 0296001, 0202543, 0310188, and 0532446. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.