PTC NSWHomeGEMSPreparationStep 9: Topic Research

Step 9: Facilitating Topic Research

Students often expect that they will easily be able to find information about their area of interest but this is not usually the case because student generated topics and questions are quite specific. This short video clip shows students recounting their difficulties in researching their topics.

You will probably need to guide students about the main science concepts associated with their science investigations. Background information for an investigation about keeping food cool in lunchboxes could include:

  • materials that are good heat insulators/good heat conductors
  • the colour of materials and how this is related to heating/cooling
  • materials that can be washed
  • materials that can hold their shape
  • materials that are durable
  • the cost of different materials
  • the source of materials and how they are made e.g. plastic

Researching background information often leads to students adjusting their ideas about their question.

The search engine in Resources provides suggested background and stimulus material for a range of themes.

It is highly recommended that you become informed about the key science concepts associated with your class theme before your students begin their research. You could email your class mentors the list of topics from the class brainstorm and ask them to advise you about related science concepts. This would give you entry points into the plethora of information on the internet.

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