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Engaging science investigations for 6th-8th graders
Supports Next Generation Science Standards
Improves Students' Critical Thinking Skills

About Research Quest

Research Quest is an engaging and powerful series of science investigations that improve students’ critical thinking skills.

Designed for middle school teachers and their students, Research Quest was created by the Natural History Museum of Utah with an all-star team of learning experts, university researcher scientists, museum professionals, and digital designers.

What Will Research Quest Look Like in My Classroom?

In each investigation, your students will engage with videos featuring our museum scientists. The videos will not only challenge your students with a real-world 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 click on aerial photos of pine trees to explore the causes of bark beetle infestations. Throughout their work, your students will record their evidence and reasoning in their Research Quest notebooks, and test their ideas by sharing them with their classmates.

I Have to Meet New Science Standards. Does Research Quest Help Me Do That?

If you’re teaching science, Research Quest checks every box:

  • Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, which are the basis for many new state science standards
  • Web-based instruction that’s easy-to-use for teachers - works on tablets and computers
  • Proven effective - extensive testing shows that students who complete Research Quest investigations show improvements in critical thinking
  • Affordable (actually, it’s free!)
  • Fun and memorable for your students


Who Is Using Research Quest?

Today, Research Quest has been used by more than 500 teachers and their 50,000+ students from across the U.S. Moreoever, the program’s success, demonstrated through rigorous studies in middle school classrooms, has earned it continued support from the Joseph and Evelyn Rosenblatt Charitable Fund, the IJ and Jeanné Wagner Foundation, the Utah State Legislature's Informal Science Education Enhancement program, and a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

Want to learn more? Find out how a simple question started the Research Quest journey, or check out which Research Quest investigations are right for you and your students.

Overall, this was such a valuable resource for us this year! We absolutely loved it and look forward to using it again in the future. The students felt very motivated and Carrie is a real celebrity in our classroom. Thank you!

Megan Hurster, Weilemann School of Discovery, 6th-8th grade, Charter