In Support of Basic Science

This activity will challenge students thinking about the nature of science and highlight the importance of both basic and applied scientific research.


Context for Use

Project EXTREMES lessons were intended to be stand alone lessons.



Goals Header
What Students Will Do

  • Students develop an awareness of the process of science from developing a research question, to applying for funding, to sharing results, to applying research to solve problems.
  • Students develop and apply communication skills when confronted with controversy and debating.


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  • Part 1 – (10 minutes) Class discussion and heat map

Students participate in a discussion about the process of science and take an initial stance on funding of basic science research.

  • Part 2 –  (20 minutes) Examples from history

Students learn that basic and applied science research are interconnected.

  • Part 3 –  (15 minutes) The spending debate

Students gather evidence for and against funding basic research with tax dollars.

  • Part 4 –  (15 minutes) Heat map and wrap up

Students participate in the same heat map survey from Part 1 and discuss how their understanding may have changed.


Illustration of two people high-fiving in a work environment

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