The inquiryHub (iHub) Chemistry curriculum is a full-year high school Chemistry course anchored in phenomena and aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.
Denver Public Schools teachers, working with a team of researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and Northwestern University, designed five units, which address common high school physical science performance expectations in the NGSS for high school Chemistry.
The units are organized around coherent storylines, in which students ask and investigate questions related to an anchoring phenomenon or design challenge. Students use science and engineering practices to figure out Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) and crosscutting concepts needed to make sense of and explain the phenomena or solve the problem presented in the challenge.
The phenomena that students work together to explain in chemistry are what to search for in looking for life on other planets (Search for Life), the potential of hydrogen (Fuels Unit) and nuclear energy (Nuclear Unit) as a greener fuel, and why oysters are dying at high rates (Oysters). Each has been chosen with input from thousands of students in a national survey as to what would be interesting and engaging to students like them.
Science and Engineering Practices
Students engage with all eight science and engineering practices, becoming more proficient in learning when and how to use the practices. Lessons engage students in practices where they investigate, make sense of phenomena and problems, construct and critique models, and develop explanations and arguments. The units are designed to support students in becoming more sophisticated in their use of practices over the school year. Design challenges help students integrate knowledge across units; over time, students are expected to take more and more responsibility in problem solving within them.
There are multiple assessments embedded in the materials that can be used for formative and summative purposes. These include exit tickets with multiple-choice questions that assess both student experience and understanding, student models of phenomena, and 3D transfer tasks in which students apply what they have learned to a new phenomenon.