The Tools of Science—Methods for Collecting Data in High School Biology

Connie Scercy Wood, Biology, East Mecklenburg High School

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


Students in science should be designing and carrying out their own investigations. However, their inexperience with the tools and methods of scientific research hinders their ability to envision how they can collect the data they need to answer the question they want to investigate. This curriculum unit is designed to equip high school biology students with ideas for the kinds of tools and methods they could use to reach their goal. It contains a “Toolkit” of equipment and techniques for collecting data on pH, organic compounds, enzymatic reactions, cellular respiration, and photosynthesis that students can turn to when designing experiments. The unit includes background information for the teacher on the methods used for collecting data and links to resources for instructions on their use and where they can be purchased. The teacher can present the “tools” one at a time over a period of time, or in its entirety as a resource for students to explore. I intend to continue adding to this “Toolkit” with additional tools and methods to explore other areas of biology, so look for updates in the Comments section.