Friday, 7 March 2014


The subject of Science plays an important role in developing in children well-defined abilities in cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains.

Students are at their best when their curiosity is engaged & science is all about fostering curiosity .  It is about finding , fueling and firing up the imagination and thereby creating an experience within. Science is fascinating pathway to  understand  the world rationally and  dominates our lives  with tremendous opportunities , hence, challenging students to experience the school learning in an open ended way.

Scientific bent of mind makes students exceptional human beings by creating new horizons to hone their basic skills.

The nature of Science is to reveal both evolutionary and revolutionary changes. With new evidence and interpretation, old ideas are replaced or supplemented by newer ones.
It augments the spirit of enquiry, creativity, objectivity and aesthetic sensibility

NCF 2005 aptly says, "The fact that learning has become a source of burden and stress on children and their parents is an evidence of a deep distortion in educational aims and quality".

To correct this, the NCF has proposed some guiding principles
ü  Making learning wholesome, creative and enjoyable. Children must be given the taste of understanding, so that they can learn and construct their own knowledge
ü  Active learning thorough experiential mode
ü  Adequate room for voicing children’s thoughts curiosity, and questions in curricular practices
ü  Learning engagement for construction of knowledge and fostering of creativity
ü  Connecting knowledge across disciplinary boundaries to provide a broader framework for insightful construction of knowledge
ü  Forms of learning engagement – observing, exploring, discovering, analysis, critical reflection, etc – are as important as the content of knowledge

Objectives :
1.      Creativity of the child is brought out
2.      Confidence in one's own ability to learn is built
3.      Learning is reinforced
4.      Learning becomes relevant and related to real life
5.      Freedom to choose areas of interest and follow it up with a study is possible
6.      Research and writing skills are developed
7.      It supports assessment of pupils process of learning

The secondary stage teaching of science expects abstraction and quantitative reasoning to occupy a more central place in the teaching and learning of science.

Science can be made lively and interesting by giving students hands on as well as Brains on experiences (Really effective practical activities enable students to build a bridge between what they can see and handle (hands-on) and scientific ideas that account for their observations (brains-on) & by encouraging them to ask questions, observe, explore, experiment and investigate. Learning should not remain confined to the classroom alone but it should be intricately woven into the experience of the daily lives of the students

CBSE Curriculum framework   proposes one Formative assessment carrying 10% weightage in each term which would be based completely on hands on projects (investigatory or experimental)

The Project as Group Activity can be taken as one of the Formative Assessment task.
The students could be  asked to take up  either the investigatory or  experimental projects
Investigatory Projects include:
·         Collection of data
·         Observation
·         Analysis & Interpretation of data
·         Conclusion and Inference
Areas of Assessment
1.      Inquisitiveness
2.      Observation skills
3.      Thinking skills ( logical, rationale)
4.      Analytical
5.      Application of Knowledge
6.      Comprehension & understanding (viva-voce)
7.      Computing skills
8.      Drawing conclusion
Experimental Projects Include:
·         Identifying problem
·         Making hypothesis
·         Testing
·         Observation
·         Analysis & Interpretation
·         Conclusion & Inference
Areas of Assessment
1.      Inquisitiveness
2.      Observation skills
3.      Thinking skills
4.      Analytical
5.      Application of Knowledge
6.      Comprehension & understanding (viva-voce)
7.      Computing skills
8.      Drawing conclusion
9.      Experimental Skills

The Project work (Survey OR Experimental) may be taken as a Formative Assessment Task

The NCF requires a teacher to be a facilitator of children’s learning in a manner that helps children to construct knowledge and meaning. The teacher in this process is a co-constructor of knowledge. It also opens out possibilities for the teacher   to participate in the construction of syllabi, textbooks and teaching-learning materials. Such roles demand that teachers be equipped with an adequate understanding of curriculum, subject-content and pedagogy, on the one hand, and the community and school structures and management, on the other.

According to the CBSE, an investigatory science project is an extended problem that is the outgrowth of the pupil's own interest and endeavor at problem solving and should be      related to the curriculum.

The purpose of projects  is to provide a structure through which students can
demonstrate mastery of a subject by creating, and presenting, a research-based project that
is driven by their own interest in a topic and allows them to work within the same parameters as real researchers. While the projects can assess the students’ knowledge of content, concepts and skills and the level of depth and complexity to which students have understood them, they also allow students to think deeply and analytically and to question a topic which has particular resonance and meaning for them.
A science investigatory project involves the use of the scientific method within an area of inquiry. The scientific method is a systematic methodology that includes five steps. The scientist or science student first identifies the problem. He then proposes, or formulates, a potential answer to the problem. At the third step, he tests that proposed answer, also called the hypothesis. As an outcome of testing the hypothesis, he gathers data and conducts an analytical evaluation of that data. Finally, the student or scientist draws conclusions based on the data.
A brief description of the parts of the Science Investigatory Project Report
A- SURVEY BASED Investigatory Project
v  Title:  Clear and precise predicting objective .
v  Project Statement / Issue to be addressed
v  Project Learning Intention
v  Historical Background
v  Rationale behind the project
v  Research
v  Hypothesis
v  Result
v  Conclusion
v  References
B. EXPERIMENT BASED - Investigatory Project
v  Clear and precise predicting objective .
v  Project Statement / Issue to be addressed
v  Project Learning Intention
v  Historical Background
v  Sequence of Experiments
v  (with detailed account w.r.t  set up of experiment , observations , inferences)
v  Compiled Results
v  Conclusion
v  References


The Defining Characteristics of  PBL
Ø  Learning is driven by challenging, open-ended problems.
Ø  Students work in small collaborative groups.
Ø  Teachers take on the role as "facilitators" of learning

"The hope is that students, through (participation) in these activities, will come to understand the deeper structures of the disciplines that they are studying, not just the surface-level information that makes no useful sense unless given context by the deeper structure." 
Aims :
Ø  Project based learning (PBL) approach is an important and innovative method for teachers to provide for the requirements of students who face a continuously evolving global economy.
Ø  This   approach helps make learning relevant and is useful to students by establishing connections to life outside the classroom.
Ø  This also addresses   real world concerns, and helps the student to develop real world skills which ensures that our young Indians are prepared to play an important role in knowledge creation and sharing.
Ø  This helps steer the students’ path towards higher education and prepares them for a productive career path.
Ø  Learning has shifted from the traditional passive teacher-centric learning environment to a more productive and interactive student-directed learning environment.
This shift can  be achieved by the  consistent and sincere
efforts of  the teachers as  facilitators.
Project-Based Learning Method
Ø  PBL is a comprehensive instructional approach to engage students in sustained, cooperative investigation.
Ø  It focuses on the central concepts and principles of a discipline, involves students in problem solving investigations and other meaningful tasks that allows students to work   autonomously to construct their own knowledge, and culminates  in realistic products.
Ø  It encourages active inquiry and higher level thinking & develops critical thinking, problem solving, and collaborative skills in addition to content knowledge through  problem identification, formulation of  hypotheses, and data searches.
Ø  Fosters active learning by involving students in:
·         Asking and refining questions, asking new questions
·         Debating ideas
·         Making predictions
·         Designing plans and/or experiments
·         Collecting and analyzing data
·         Drawing conclusions
·         Communicating their ideas and findings to others and creating artifacts
Benefits of Project-Based Learning:
Motivation:    To enhance the learning   and mastery of the subject matter.
Improved library research skills:  To promote independent research and to provide an authentic and motivating context for students to develop information literacy skills.
Increased collaboration: To develop and practice collaboration and communication skills in an authentic environment because   learning is a  social phenomenon .
Increased resource management skills:  PBL gives students instruction and practice in planning projects, and in allocating time and other resources to complete tasks on schedule.
Learning to be an Expert: To ensure that young children become proficient at inquiry and problem solving   &  to simulate the conditions and become proficient at conducting investigations.
Elements of a good project based learning experience include:
  • A fertile question or issue that is rich, real and relevant to the students lives.
  • Student-directed learning  .
  • Multi-disciplinary components
  • Long term (more than 3 weeks) time frame
  • Outcomes-based, with an artefact, presentation, or action as a result of the inquiry.
"When teachers and their students are "connected" through project based learning the "world" becomes an indispensable curriculum resource.”


Structuring the project- Minimum Work to done

The teachers should start a project, assign students and may invite other teachers
The teacher should then attend to these aspects
·         Introduction of  the Project
·         Project Learning intention /  Objectives
·         Curriculum (Topic) & Standard (Class)
·          Sequence  of Activities Planned
·         Assessment Approach – Rubrics
·         List of Culminating Product /Project Findings
·         References
·         Project Relevant Pictures.