Gedanken (guh-DON-ken): A revolutionary tool for science inquiry


Asking questions. Digging up background information. Collaborating with others to turn those questions into hypotheses. Transforming those hypotheses into testable experiments. That is the scientific process at its essence.

Gedanken is an easy-to-use collaborative learning program that guides students through this process. Video clips of real scientists lead students to design their own experiments to grapple with still-unanswered scientific problems, like:

  • Why do we seem so alone in the Universe?
  • Why do we sleep?
  • How do we deal with climate change?
  • How do we stop infectious diseases from spreading?
  • How do we power the future with renewable energy?

Through a multi-step process, students dig up their own background information, develop research questions, form their own hypotheses, and then design their own experiments to test those hypotheses.

Gedanken isn’t a lab assignment that has a right or wrong answer. With Gedanken, there are no right answers, just good questions and good science thinking! And just as important, we developed Gedanken with the input of other teachers. It’s:

  1. quickly implemented using widely available classroom technology,
  2. easy to use, and
  3. a utility that incorporates, rather than replaces, the teacher as a facilitator in the inquiry process. Teachers guide classes through Gedanken, rather than simply getting out of the way.
A section from our student materials

A section from our student materials

Gedanken works best for grades 5-8, but can be easily scaled to all ages and audiences. Our first Gedanken is about astrobiology and life in the Universe and is ready for download!