Planning an Investigation


Objectives: After completing the lesson, students will be able to:

  plan a scientific investigation of dry ice


Key Question: "What do I want to know about dry ice?"


Overview: This lesson gives students the time and structure they need to plan an investigation of dry ice of their own choosing. This activity could be done as homework, but since most students have never planned their own science investigation before, it is best to allow a class period for this lesson. In this way, the other students and teacher become resources for answering questions that come up during the planning process.


Time Required: 45-60 minutes (1 class session).



"Our Dry Ice Investigation" and "Materials List" student handouts (pp. 120-122 of the Dry Ice  GEMS guide)


Procedure: see pp. 118-119 of the Dry Ice  GEMS guide.



  "Our Dry Ice Investigation" student handout



complete the "Our Dry Ice Investigation" student handout

  complete the "Materials List" student handout


OUSD Science Content Standards (State of  California Science Content Standards):

1-a (7-a).



Barber, Jacqueline, Kevin Beals, and Lincoln Bergman. Dry Ice Investigations: Teacher's Guide. Berkeley, CA.: Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1999, pp. 74-80.


Notes: Experience has taught us that the biggest problem with this lesson is getting students to focus on one investigation. They tend to try to work with far too many variables at the same time, instead of focusing on one specific test variable.