Fermilab LInC Online

Flooding Rivers

Defining Your Research Question


Student Pages


Index of Projects

In defining your question remember:

"Knowing is the greatest barrier to learning"

(Leto II as revealed by Frank Herbert")

(Do not assume you know something or you will stop yourself from learning more!)

After reading the letter asking for our assistance and then either doing the twenty question activity or somehow organizing into teams, you should have an idea of a basic question to investigate. The question needs to be agreed upon by the entire team. It should not only be a question that is possible to complete, but also should be interesting and contribute to the overall solution of the flooding problem. Write out the question as clearly as you can, making it specific, and something that you can prove or disprove using the available resources.

The form below can help you to define your question so everyone is clear about what you intend to do. (This page can be copied and pasted onto a word document for your personal use. The boxes can expand as you add more text)

Investigation question: (one sentence clearly written)
Key words clearly defined: (Exactly what do you mean?)
Variables to test: (What are the things that change that you to test?)
Time frame for working: (When do you start and finish? How much time do you have? See timeline chart to make a detailed timeline)
Data and research to gather: (What kinds of things do you need to collect in the field and in the library?)
How your answer may help with the whole project: (You will not solve the whole problem so what part will you play?)

Refer to this chart often to see what needs to be done. Also update this page as you learn more you may have more questions or things to research.

Back to Hints......................................................................................Back to the top

Pages for Students
Scientific Method
Web Research Form
Focusing Investigation
20 Questions
Table of content
Defining Questions
Splitting the Computer Screen
Rubric for Grading
Final Product
What to do Next

Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.

Author(s): Miles Robinson (mrobinson@cranbrook.edu), Brian Schad ( schad@aaps.k12.mi.us)
Cranbrook Schools, Kingswood Girl's Middle School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and Lawton Elementary Ann Arbor, Michigan
Created: February 15, 2001 - Updated: April 18, 2001
URL: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/lincon/w01/projects/yourfoldername/student.html