4 Ways To Engage Students With Phenomena During Distance Learning

How can you use tech tools to engage students with phenomena in your virtual classroom?

Science isn’t about checking standards off the list or forcing students to memorize content they’ll just forget within the year. Science, in the real world, is about investigating natural phenomena. It’s about explaining what is observed. Answering questions. Solving problems.

When we shift the focus of our science classrooms away from covering the content and towards figuring out phenomena, we engage our students in the real work of scientists.

But how can we do this in the virtual classroom? How do we do this when we are “distance learning?”

The following pop-up training was held inside the NGSS For Middle and High School Science Teachers Facebook Group during the height of emergency remote learning in the spring of 2020. As I mention in the training, while you might already be using these tech tools, my goal is to show you how to use them to support three dimensional instruction — particularly engaging with phenomena.


What’s All This Talk About Phenomena?

We use phenomena early in our NGSS storylines to peak student interest, spark curiosity, and activate prior knowledge. We also bring phenomena into our storylines any time a new concept is about to be learned. If you are new to using phenomena in your science class, you need to check out Science Phenomena For Your NGSS Storylines


What Are We Doing With Phenomena?

Students need to observe phenomena, have opportunities to document their ideas and questions and wonderings, and they need time to share their thinking and hear from other students.  Tech tools can give students those opportunities when we aren’t in the classroom (and even when we are!). Let’s dive into the video!



Are you implementing the NGSS? Are you in desperate need of support?

Check out the free mini-course – Kickstart AHA: Intro To The NGSS – to get a handle on the basics.  Discover what the NGSS REALLY looks like in the classroom and put it into practice today.


Ready To Take Your Learning Further?

If you are ready to take a closer look at your curriculum and instruction and remake it 3D STYLEyou’re invited to check out iExplore Academy. We are enrolling new teachers now.