In Social Studies 2211 (History), we are completing a research activity on significant contributions to the Scientific Revolution during the 16th-18th centuries. It’s a way to get students practicing research skills and working collaboratively to not only learn about a scientist, but also discovery why certain developments were “big deals” at the time.
Here’s the activity:
I’ve adapted this from one used by Gonzaga High School in St. John’s, as I worked with teachers from that school when teaching an early version of this unit on innovation and change.
Students start by choosing a scientist and researching aspects of that person’s life, family background, social status, education, etc. Secondly, they move on to detailing the notable discoveries and achievements of their subject. Thirdly, they suggest how the discoveries of this individual helped change the worldview of people at the time. Finally, they consider the lasting impacts of this person’s work and its relevance for the present day.
I’ve requested that students document at least 3 sources of information that they used during their research and these will be presented in an APA citation format, something the Social Studies Department at Gander Collegiate is working on incorporating into all such activities. Being able to properly cite sources and document their research is a vital academic skill, especially for those students who wish to pursue post-secondary studies.
Here are a couple of samples of work I’ve already received from some very creative students: