Students need to communicate the findings from their investigations and there are a variety of ways that this can be accomplished.
An investigation report is really a composite text, it consist of the following sections:
1. Statement of the aim - a re-wording of the original hypothesis for example,
Hypothesis: Houses built using heavy building materials will not be washed away in a flood.
Aim: To find out whether changing the building material of a house affects the distance the house is moved during a flood?'
2. Method, an example of a procedural text – where equipment is listed and the steps listed. Diagrams are frequently used to clarify the set-up of equipment.
3. Results - usually expressed in a table and graphed (see the section – Processing Analysing and Concluding) or as a report.
4. Conculsion - the explanation.
More sophisticated investigation reports will include a discussion/justification (exposition or discussion text types) of the method. This may include suggestions about how the investigation could be made more valid or reliable. For example, inconsistency in results may be due to the many variables that cannot be controlled when working with humans as subjects in an investigation or human error.
One of the key elements in GEMS is the celebration of learning. This can occur through a science fair event at the school with the goal of allowing students to share their knowledge and understanding with a range of listeners, and at the same time raising awareness of the importance of science education within the school community.
Students initially 'publish' their work as posters, demonstrations, oral explanations or other formats, and these are then displayed and explained during the science fair, often with related hands-on activities for visitors to do.
Oral presentation of a scientific investigation at a science fair with all the attendant planning and recording means that students often grow in confidence and expertise. Students recount their activities, justify their choices and select appropriate media (poster, digital and/or video images) to provide evidence and engage the audience.
The publication of an investigation report and its presentation at a science fair provides an ideal way to address the increasing emphasis of curricula on multimodal presentation of information. Modes of language include reading, viewing, writing, creating, speaking and listening. Multimodal texts combine, for example, print text, visual images and spoken word as in film or computer presentation media.
School Science Fairs provide an opportunity for validation and acknowledgement of all members of a GEMS community – students, teachers, principals, mentors, parents – where there is public appreciation for the effort and learning that has occurred.
Running a science fair