Jan 242015


The American Biology Teacher has recently published a Data Nuggets manuscript by former GK-12 Fellows Melissa Kjelvik and Liz Schulthuis!

In case you’re curious what Data Nuggets are, here’s a quick excerpt from the paper:

Data Nuggets (http://datanuggets.org) are free K–16 educational resources that bring data collected by scientists into the classroom, giving students the chance to work with data from cutting-edge research. They were designed in response to teacher requests for lessons that would help students meet quantitative learning goals. Data Nuggets are built from recent and ongoing research; each worksheet provides a brief background to a research topic, the researcher’s process as they developed their ideas, and a data set from their work. Students are challenged to answer a scientific question using the data set to support their claim and are guided through the construction of graphs o facilitate data interpretation. Data Nuggets get students excited about a research topic while increasing their quantitative skills and competency with the scientific method.

-Schultheis, E. H., and M. K. Kjelvik. 2015. Data Nuggets: Bringing Real Data into the Classroom to Unearth Students’    Quantitative & Inquiry Skills. The American Biology Teacher 77(1):19-29.

 To read more, click here.

Data Nuggets were originally created by the partnership between teachers of the K-12 partnership and the two graduate fellows in the KBS GK-12 program, Kjelvik and Schulthuis. After testing in classrooms within the partnership, the scope of the Data Nugget project has continued to increase and lesson are being implemented in classes across the U.S.

The Data Nugget project has recently been the focus of a NIMBioS working group. NIMBioS is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Synthesis Center supported through NSF’s Biological Sciences Directorate. The goals of the working group are:

  • Identify skills necessary for progression towards quantitative literacy and discuss the role of Data Nuggets in acquiring these skills;
  • Assess the efficacy of Data Nuggets as an educational tool;
  • Build a library of resources for use alongside Data Nuggets in undergraduate classrooms.

It is incredibly exciting to see this project grow! Congratulations, Liz and Melissa!