Building Science Skills

Introduction to the Primary Literature

This podcast discusses some of the basic components of a scientific research paper. It also includes some tips on how to evaluate and assess the quality of a primary research article. This podcast relies heavily on the book “Reading Primary Literature” by Christopher Gillen. Link to the book

Scientific Inquiry: Learning to Ask the Right Question

This activity set provides students with the opportunity to discuss the processes that underlie scientific inquiry and gain experience asking and developing their own questions. This activity also provides an opportunity for students to improve their critical evaluation skills by assessing the quality of statements that the podcast speakers states by asking questions regarding the validity of the speaker’s conclusions and assumptions.

There are three components to the podcasting activity:

1) An introductory podcast that discusses creativity in science. 
    Podcast Link

 2) A series a practice examples where students can stop the podcast and complete an attached worksheet (Microsoft word) to gain practice writing down their questions.

3) A podcast of a mini-seminar in which the speaker intentionally overstates some facts and findings. It is the students’ job to evaluate the mini-seminar and ask scientific questions regarding the work and evaluate the speaker’s statements. 
Podcast Link

What do you think of this exercise?

If you use these exercises in your classroom perhaps you or your students would complete the attached survey. This would help us to assess the effectiveness of the exercise and improve its’ quality. The completed surveys can be emailed to
Download Survey