ARCHIVED CONTENT: In December 2020, the CZO program was succeeded by the Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZ Net) ×

Educational Resources

Notice & Wonder: Foundation for scientific Inquiry in the CZ

Five icons (e.g., eye, hand) that help illustrate key observations used for scientific inquiry of the Critical Zone such as 'I notice...' and 'I wonder...'
Five icons (e.g., eye, hand) that help illustrate key observations used for scientific inquiry of the Critical Zone such as "I notice..." and "I wonder..."
Learn how the words “I notice...” and “I wonder...” can spark an exploration of the Critical Zone. Dive into the question: "Where does water go when it rains?". This set of activities was developed for AGI Earth Science Week 2018.

Grades K - 8
All Disciplines • Hydrology • SoilScience/Pedology
Activity • Lesson Plan

Educational Objectives

After this activity, students will be able to:

  • Observe and record Earth surface and environmental phemomena using their senses. 
  • Question their observations and hypothesize cause-effect relationships, functions of particular structures, and predictions of how a property or process may change over time or across space. 

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NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect - Mechanism and Explanation | Energy and Matter - Flows, Cycles, and Conservation | Structure and Function | Stability and Change

NGSS Science & Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems | Planning and Carrying Out Investigations | Engaging in Argument from Evidence

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: ESS2 - Earth’s Systems

Observatory: National CZO

Author(s): Michelle Gilmore (University of California, Merced)

Funding: National Office of the Critical Zone Observatory Program

Details for this Resource

Observing, interpreting, questioning, hypothesizing, and communicating about the world around us are foundational research skills practiced in every scientific discipline. These skills can be developed at any age through the framework provided by two words: Notice and Wonder. We provide information about how “I notice...” and “I wonder...” can be used to engage in scientific practices and explore the Critical Zone, the outermost layer of Earth that forms its surface and ecosystems. With Notice and Wonder in our scientific toolkit, we provide an example of how you can use these practices to qualitatively and quantitatively explore a particular phenomenon in the Critical Zone:  Where does water go when it rains?