Constructing Students' Knowledge of Combustion Using an Inquiry Approach

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Combustion is an everyday phenomenon familiar to people in all walks of life. The science is complex enough to be interesting, while still being understandable by young learners. There are, however, some alternative conceptions that emerge when people are asked to explain combustion in a closed system. This inquiry activity, developed as part of an inquiry program for 8th grade students in Taiwan, uses a variety of practical situations to help students improve their understanding of combustion. For example, Question 1 (Figure 1) uses a fire accident, question 2 uses the candle burning in a sealed jar experiment, and question 3 involves a scenario with two lighted candles of different lengths and asks students to predict and explain which candle would go out first. This presentation will discuss the development, implementation, and evaluation of the inquiry materials.


Washington, DC

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