Date of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Peter Veronesi


The Next Generation Science standards emphasize students thinking and working like scientists. The New York State Board of Regents adopted the draft New York State Science Learning Standards based on the Next Generation Science Standards in December 2016 for implementation beginning July 1, 2017. Teachers are concerned about such a short timeline to implement new standards. While these standards do not include new content for Physics teachers, many of them deepen the content and require a higher level of Blooms Taxonomy to meet the standards than the previous standards. Research backs inquiry-based learning in the science classroom (Jackson & Ash, 2012; Marshall & Alston, 2014; Shemwell, Chase, & Schwartz, 2015; Banerjee, 2010). Other research has shown inquiry is effective at raising achievement scores and reducing the racial achievement gap (Corsi, 2012; Marshall & Alston, 2014; Wilson, Taylor, Kowalski, & Carlson, 2010). This project proposes using inquiry to introduce content, rather than confirm what students have already been told. This puts the students in the driver seat of learning. They will make discoveries and gain a deeper, longer-lasting connection to the material. Contained within are 22 Inquiry Starters for Physics teachers to use that introduce the content within the 17 New York State Science Learning Standards. Most of these activities will not meet the standards, but they will start the ball rolling.