George Lucas Educational Foundation

Putting Curiosity at the Heart of Scientific Inquiry

When science teachers ask their classes to formulate good questions, they tap into students’ natural interest in the world around them—and build engagement and motivation.

October 20, 2023

It’s a timeless question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? At Ellington middle school in Connecticut, seventh-grade science teacher Nicole Bolduc uses students’ own questions as a driving force to get them excited about exploring scientific phenomena. She starts each unit with a compelling video and then encourages her middle school students to develop and refine their questions about the phenomenon using a method called the Question Formulation Technique. Each year, during a unit about cell division and the systems of the body, her students arrive at the idea that they should hatch and raise baby chicks from eggs right in their classroom, in order to conduct their own research and discovery—and they do. The resulting investigations get every student deeply invested in finding answers, because the questions were born of their own wonders. 

Find more teaching and learning resources for the Question Formulation Technique from the Right Question Institute (RQI) website

Ellington Middle School

Public, Suburban
Grades 7-8
Ellington, CT

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Filed Under

  • Communication Skills
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Student Engagement
  • Science
  • 6-8 Middle School

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