Becoming a critical science detective


Before starting the Science missions students must learn about the Open Science Schooling methodology, about missions and the terms critical, science and detective.  Science learning is here organised as a mission, as a student-centered process, and as an opportunity for students to learn science in a relevant manner addressing local community issues.


Your role as a teacher

In general

  • The teacher must accept that he/she does not know all the areas in which students make their investigation.
  • The teacher should avoid correcting the student with direct answers, but instead make questions that will bring the students to think about/act towards a solution. The teacher guides the students.
  • The teacher provides opportunities for learning on demand.

Read more here


At the beginning – ‘Becoming  a critical science detective’

First, students and teachers raise awareness about what each concept of Science, critical, detective and mission means to them.

Therefore, first let the students discuss:

  • What is science?
  • What is critical?
  • What is detective?
  • What is a mission?

Some inspiration in the ‘Definition box’ below.



Before next step

Students and teachers will have a common understanding of what the words sciences, critical, detective and mission means, before they enter the phase of ‘identifying problem’.


You can read more in the guide


Mission: Is a specific real life and long term task conducted by a group of persons in order to solve a specific challenge.

Therefore, it is characteristic of a mission that the goal is already known from the beginning of the mission. It’s also characteristic for a mission that a group of people are sent to another place to do a particular job.

Science: any system of knowledge that is concerned with the physical world and its phenomena and that entails unbiased observations and systematic experimentation.

Critical is to make an objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.

Here is inspiration for questions what you or the students could ask at different phases of their mission:  Science is based on critical thinking

A detective is an investigator whose task it is to discover information in order to solve problems.

A Science detective is an investigator whose task it is to discover information using scientific methods in order to solve problems.