Research Quest is a series of free online investigations created by the Natural History Museum of Utah for middle school teachers and students.These investigations engage your students in a variety of virtual museum activities designed by and featuring our all-star team of scientists and educators. The investigations will not only challenge your students with a real-world, phenomenon-based scientific mystery, they will also model how research scientists search for evidence and how they use critical thinking to answer scientific questions.
Next, your students will explore digitized museum collections and data to gather their own evidence for the research question at-hand. Depending on the investigation, your class might observe the nooks and crannies of a 3D image scan of a dinosaur jaw or examine aerial photos of pine trees to research the impacts of change in a montane environment. Throughout their work, your students will record their evidence and reasoning in their Research Assistant Notebooks, and test their ideas by sharing them with their classmates.
Carolyn Robertson, Snowcrest Junior High, 7th grade, Weber School District
I have never used a program before that does such a great job teaching how to collect, classify and use evidence to determine an answer. This process focused students into being scientists who collect facts and then make decisions. I found the emotional or opinion or even lazier easy route was not taken as the students dug deeply to find evidence to determine what the solutions could be. The students really impressed me with their presentations! I think they impressed themselves with how smart they sounded.
Full access to all investigations and their activities.
Instructional Guides, Research Assistant Notebooks, and more for each investigation.
Assessment rubrics for student learning