Using Inquiry Groups to Meet the NGSS

Kolling, Kathleen

Inquiry and Design Thinking


Dole, Laurie. (2013). Using inquiry groups to meet the next generation science standards. LMC, 32(2), 34-36.


The NGSS standards are almost mirrors of the steps of the inquiry model. Students ask questions and define problems, develop and use models, plan and carry out investigations, analyze and interpret data, use math and computational thinking, construct explanations and design solutions: engaging in argument from evidence, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. These steps and goals are very similar to other inquiry models that have a goal for students to be engaged in active wonder and questioning.


I love that all of the inquiry models we studied in class this semester can also be applied to NGSS topics. It’s often difficult for me to think of ways to connect to curriculum, other than language arts and social studies, but it can be done. Taking students all the way through a complete inquiry project also reinforces the scientific process, and creates a generation of people who will know how to delve deeply into exploring a topic.

Teen Experts Guide Makerspace Makeover

McNeil, Lauren


Graves, C. (2014). Teen experts guide makerspace makeover. Knowledge Quest, 42(4), 8-13. Retrieved from

This article describes makerspaces, particularly their benefits. Unlike library programs that are offered at particular times and are thus limited in terms of availability, makerspaces are more accessible, as they are always available (Graves, 2014). Outside the bounds of the school library and its hours of operation, virtual makerspaces can always be accessed by students who possess the necessary technology themselves. Graves (2014) also states that a makerspace is a “nurturing, positive environment” (p. 12).  School library makerspaces therefore increase students’ access to technology, provide them with ongoing learning opportunities, and can lower their stress levels, as makerspaces are low-pressure areas where activities are meant to be enjoyable and are not tied to grades.

Not only does the article make a strong case in advocating for the inclusion of makerspaces in libraries, but, significantly (and perhaps unusually), the author also highlights the importance of obtaining student input as to the resources that should be made available in the makerspaces (Graves, 2014). This way, the makerspaces will accurately reflect students’ information needs and wants and better enable them to meet their personal and academic goals.

STEM – What K-12 Skills are Needed for STEM Workforce?

MaryLee Helm


Education Week. (2017). Congressional Panel Asked: What K-12 Skills are Needed for STEM Workforce? Retrieved from

Lawmakers introduce a bill to provide more funding for the National Science Foundation to research STEM education in early childhood.

I am a proponent of STEM/STEAM education and am encouraged to see discussions happening at the government level to monetarily support programming in these fields of study.

Reimagining the role of school libraries in STEM education: Creating hybrid spaces for exploration

Levine, Inna
Subramaniam, M. M., Ahn, J., Fleischmann, K. R., & Druin, A. (2012). Reimagining the role of school libraries in STEM education: Creating hybrid spaces for exploration. Library Quarterly, 82(2), 161-182. Retrieved from

In recent years, many technological interventions have surfaced, such as virtual worlds, games, and digital labs, that aspire to link young people’s interest in media technology and social networks to learning about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) areas. In this article, the authors outline a sociocultural approach to explore how school library programs can play a critical role in STEM education and articulate the need for research that examines the contributions of school libraries as potential hybrid spaces for STEM learning. The authors propose that school library programs become active participants in STEM learning through the specific roles that school librarians currently play in schools, such as information specialist, instructional partner, and technology ally. They also highlight how these roles can be tailored toward helping young people develop STEM identities.