Science at Southridge

How do we incorporate Harkness philosophy in science?


Demonstrations allow for discussion. Teachers can ask questions before a demo, to encourage student conversation about what will happen and why. After the demonstration, discussion can help clarify misconceptions and solidify concepts.

Here is an example of a demonstration that will could lead to a good discussion. While students feel the lung, the teacher asks them to try and figure out why a person can still breathe if their lung is punctured. The key to a good discussion is asking a good question.

Cow Heart Demo
In this demonstration where methane reacts with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water, students are asked what happens to mass in a chemical reaction. Is the mass of products greater or smaller than the mass of reactants? The discussion follows the exploding bubbles clip.
methane bubbles explode
What Happens to Mass in a Reaction


Through personal reflection and then discussion, students design procedures to solve practical problems and gain knowledge. They analyze data together and look for patterns to develop theories.
Design a Procedure
In this video, students are designing a procedure to determine if mass is conserved in a chemical reaction. At this point, most are not sure what is going to happen in regards to mass. Students will have an opportunity for further discussion after they collect and share the data they record.

Problem Solving

While solving problems, students share challenges with each other and discuss different points of view as they produce a solution. Along the journey, the teacher corrects any misconceptions and guides them to the correct answer.
Solving Bio Problems
Solving Acid Base Equilibrium Problems

POGIL: Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning

In these activities, through discussion in small groups, students analyze data and models to develop theories and knowledge.
POGIL grade 11

Case Studies

Case studies are stories. They present realistic, complex, and contextually rich situations and often involve a dilemma, conflict, or problem that students can discuss.

Case Study

Argument Driven Inquiry

Students perform an experiment, analyze results and defend a claim through discussion.


The exercises in this workbook are intended to promote sensemaking. The various formats of the questions are difficult to solve just by using physics equations as formulas. Through discussion, students develop a solid qualitative understanding of the concepts, principles, and relationships in physics. In addition, they decide what is relevant and what isn’t, which equations apply and which don’t, and what the equations tell one about physical situations.

NEW! Science Issues/News

In this discussion students are researching the topic of cannabis and health together.
Chemistry Issues