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March 21, 2023

Middle School Science Teacher Shares How She Educates Students on Fire Investigations with the Help of Xplorlabs

The U.S. Fire Administration reported to Congress that more than 1,291,500 fires happened in 2019, resulting in a financial loss approximating $14.8 billion dollars. When students hear this, many of them share their own stories, ask questions, and show a general curiosity about fire. For teachers, this can be the perfect setup to fuel learning on the science of fire.

Dr. Amy Gilbert
Dr. Amy Gilbert

How can middle school students’ curiosity engage them in learning fire safety and how fire works?

Dr. Amy Gilbert, a life sciences and physical sciences teacher at Cobb County School District in Georgia, uses a multilayered learning cycle where students plan and carry out fire-related investigations with the help of local firefighters. The students are engaged, she says, and the involvement of firefighters makes it a powerful learning experience for them.

Xplorlabs Fire Forensics module inspires students to learn and investigate

To help her lead students in learning how to discover the cause of a fire, Gilbert uses the fire forensics module in Xplorlabs, a free digital education platform from the Office of Research Experiences & Education (OREE) at UL Research Institutes (ULRI). The module is based on the work of ULRI's Fire Safety Research Institute.

Gilbert shared how she helps students learn and discover more about fire safety and fire investigations in the March/April 2023 issue of Science Scope, the peer-reviewed practitioner journal from the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). 

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