to the Electronic Pinhole Kit
Institute for Inquiry's professional development curriculum uses
group and individual investigations into pinholes to illuminate
some of the important aspects and qualities of inquiry-based science
teaching and learning.
Pinhole Kit provides you with the tools, activities, and starting
points you'll need to recreate some IFI inquiry experiences for
teachers in your districts and projects.
While there is
"right way" to introduce or structure the activities and demonstrations
in this electronic kit, at the Institute we tend to start workshops
with exploratory investigations. We do this so that teachers can
experience pinhole phenomena, make observations, and start to see
connections before they move on to more structured investigations
leading to greater conceptual understanding.
How We Typically
Structure the Inquiry Experience
After an initial
period of time exploring pinholes by doing the Inquiry
Starting Point - Tabletop Light Source Activity, teachers usually
have some feeling of accomplishment, some of wonder, and some of
confusion. The starter activity has served to arouse their interest
and to establish a domain (a range of ideas and phenomena) for
We then move
on to a demonstration, like the Clamp
Light Demonstration, which can provide them with a thinking
tool (an idea that provides a way to think about and make sense
of experimental results) which they can use during their investigations
Next, we provide
some activities that extend their experiences with pinholes (such
as the Making a Pinhole Viewer activity).
Afterwards, we convene as a group to solicit observations and questions.
Besides allowing teachers to articulate and share what they have
experienced and learned, this process helps to elucidate what the
different teachers are interested in pursuing.
From there we
organize investigations by grouping together the teachers who have
expressed similar interests. After teachers have pursued their
investigations for some time, we reconvene as a group to share
their results. During this process the teachers learn from each
other, making connections between what one group has done or observed
and their own experiences, thereby contributing to the conceptual
understanding of the group as a whole.
workshop, we promote questioning and observation on the part of
participants. Periodically we come together as a group to share
observations, so that people can begin to create conceptual understanding
through their group conversations.
For a more complete
explanation of how we conduct the Institutes and why we use a particular
pathway, see Designing an Inquiry Workshop
with Pinholes included in this kit.
A Note about
Tabletop Light Sources
at the Institute for Inquiry we use Round Light Sources for many
of these investigations. In creating materials for off-site use,
we found that it was more efficient and less bulky to create Square
Light Sources. In the activities, any reference to a Tabletop Light
Source refers to either the Round or the Square Light Source. When
we refer to clamp lights, we mean standard lamps with reflectors,
which you can clamp on to desktops or shelves.