Investigating Science Outdoors, the New eBook From TERC, Encourages Teachers and Students to Open the Door, Go Outside, and Explore.

November 7, 2013


Ken Mayer

CAMBRIDGE, MA – TERC, a leader in the research and development of STEM curricula, is pleased to offer students, teachers, afterschool providers, and homeschoolers a free resource to promote authentic science exploration outside. The eBook Investigating Science Outdoors is available from the Apple iBookstore. This supplementary science curriculum is designed to get students (grades 7-9) outdoors, exploring the world around them, learning science observation and investigation skills, and actually doing science.

The curriculum consists of two chapters, each with six activities lasting 1-2 class periods. The activities involve a combination of outdoor and indoor investigations. In Chapter 1, students select, observe, map, document, and begin investigating a study site – a small piece of land near their school. In Chapter 2, students systematically investigate their study site, conducting more detailed observations. They collect samples, gather data, identify flora and fauna , and consider ecological relationships.

“An eBook is the perfect format for these supplementary materials,” said Teon Edwards, a senior curriculum developer at TERC and one of the book's authors. “You can take the iPad outside as a reference as you explore your study site and with apps for sketching, notetaking, capturing photos and video, and identifying plants, students are able to easily collect the data they need for further analysis.”

The Investigating Science Outdoors eBook is based on the full-year Global Labcurriculum developed by TERC with funding from National Science Foundation. Topics addressed in the chapters include the investigation process, patterns in nature, observation skills, scientific note taking, mapping, remote sensing, biotic and abiotic factors, systematic sampling, plant/flora studies, animal/fauna studies, basic taxonomy, biodiversity, biomes, scientific writing and reporting, and peer review. To learn more about Investigating Science Outdoors, including recommended supporting apps, study site templates, and sources for remote imagery go to