RESOURCESUsing the Demo Videos
Demonstrations using discrepant events (events that produce puzzling or unexpected outcomes) can stimulate students' interest and curiosity and help teachers quickly gauge students' prior knowledge and/or misconceptions. Discrepant events demonstrations are typically used at the beginning of lessons to introduce science concepts and, if they are conducted in an interactive manner that promotes student inquiry and discussion, these types of demonstrations can also help students improve their scientific habits of mind and critical thinking/problem solving skills. A simple 3-step approach often used in discrepant event demonstrations is commonly referred to as the P.O.E. method (predict, observe, explain).
Teacher Tips for Conducting P.O.E. (Predict, Observe, Explain) Demonstrations
- Before the demo, ask students to make predictions about what will happen during the demonstration and record their predictions in a column on the board.
- During or immediately after the demo, ask students to describe what they observe(d) and record their observations in a second column on the board. Observations should be made using as many senses as possible (especially visual, auditory, and kinesthetic).
- Next, have students compare their actual observations with their initial predictions and indentify any discrepancies.
- Then, facilitate a guided discussion to help students generate their own explanations of what actually happened during the demo. Provide limited amounts of information as needed and use guiding questions to help students make their own connections between their prior knowledge and scientific concepts illustrated in the video.
- Finally, once students have generated their own explanations, introduce new vocabulary/definitions if needed, clarify any prevalent misconceptions, and review the key points in the scientifically correct explanation.