Inquiry-based science puts the learner in control of their own investigation. By asking questions, designing investigations, and reflecting on their observations, youth develop their own self-identity as scientific learners. Inquiry science uses four key practices, which we've translated here to demonstrate how they align with the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. But we also believe these practices are broadly applicable to afterschool and community youth organizations, and can be used in a variety of informal learning settings.
We know this as "girl-led." Girls have opportunities to make meaningful decisions that impact the outcome of their activity. They identify questions to ask and ideas to try. They try, succeed, fail, and try again. Instead of just making a baking soda volcano then moving on to the next activity, they get opportunities to wonder, tinker, and make their own changes to see what happens.
"Learning by Doing" emphasizes cycles of action and reflection. Here, we've adapted the inquiry science cycle to one that is easily used with Girl Scout activities.
This is the other part of "learning by doing." Girls get a chance to do it themselves - whether that's building a fire, mixing paint colors, or packaging food at a food bank.
Cooperative learning involves girls learning from each other, and from those around them. They share ideas, challenges, and successes with each other, and together they learn more than they would alone.