for the Journey North Teacher
Sense of Data
"So What?" The Implications of Research
of scientific research can help us learn about how the world "works,"
but the quest doesn't end there. Findings inevitably inspire new questions
that lead to further research, and they may have broader impact and
applications. For instance, the studies that uncovered the role of
DDT in damaging the ability of eagles and other raptors to reproduce
had significant ecological and policy implications. Many research
findings are communicated to new audiences to educate, raise awareness,
or inspire action (growing native plants to provide food for migrating
birds, for instance).
students participate in research and learn about migrations and
seasonal changes, encourage them to routinely ask these types of
"so what" questions:
difference does this make (e.g., to homeowners, migratory species,
might be interested in the results?
might different types of people respond to the findings?
new research studies might the findings inspire?
do we want to communicate about this study? Who will we target
and what approach will we use (e.g., presentation, newsletter,
new questions do we have or next steps will we take?