Teaching Science

Decoding Science

Decoding Science: How does science know what it knows?

The resource includes:

  • A 90-second explainer video on how science works
  • Clear answers to challenging questions
  • Stories from real-life scientists
  • A quiz to test students’ learning

Science Literacy

Article: Approach for Fostering Undergraduates’ Ability to Read and Analyze Scientific Literature

  • Abstract: The C.R.E.A.T.E. (Consider, Read, Elucidate hypotheses, Analyze and interpret data, Think of the next Experiment) method uses intensive analysis of primary literature in the undergraduate classroom to demystify and humanize science. We have reported previously that the method improves students’ critical thinking and content integration abilities, while at the same time enhancing their self-reported understanding of “who does science, and why.” We report here the results of an assessment that addressed C.R.E.A.T.E. students’ attitudes about the nature of science, beliefs about learning, and confidence in their ability to read, analyze, and explain research articles. Using a Likert-style survey administered pre- and postcourse, we found significant changes in students’ confidence in their ability to read and analyze primary literature, self-assessed understanding of the nature of science, and epistemological beliefs (e.g., their sense of whether knowledge is certain and scientific talent innate). Thus, within a single semester, the inexpensive C.R.E.A.T.E. method can shift not just students’ analytical abilities and understanding of scientists as people, but can also positively affect students’ confidence with analysis of primary literature, their insight into the processes of science, and their beliefs about learning.

Article: Selective Use of the Primary Literature Transforms the Classroom Into a Virtual Laboratory


  • Data Nuggets are free classroom activities, co-designed by scientists and teachers, designed to bring contemporary research and authentic data into the classroom. Data Nuggets feature a scientist role model and the story of what inspired their research. In a Data Nugget activity, students are guided through the entire process of science, including identifying hypotheses and predictions, visualizing and interpreting data, supporting claims using data as evidence, and asking their own questions for future research. Because of their simplicity and flexibility, Data Nuggets can be used throughout the school year and across grades K-16, as students grow in their quantitative abilities and gain confidence. Data Nuggets have the potential to improve the understanding of science in society while engaging and motivating the next generation of scientists.