Make your own Data Nugget!
Data Nuggets are free classroom activities, co-designed by scientists and teachers. They are an innovative approach to bring authentic, cutting edge research and data into the classroom, revealing to students how the process of science really works and increasing the connections between scientists and the public. Data Nuggets are created from cutting-edge scientific research and include real, messy, scientific data. The goal of Data Nuggets is to engage students in the practices of science through an innovative approach that combines scientific content from authentic research with key concepts in quantitative reasoning.

With broader impacts a factor in most grants, finding effective methods of communication and transmission is key. Data Nuggets provide you, as a scientist, an avenue to share your research and results with a broad audience of students, teachers, and fellow scientists. Sharing research findings with the non-science public is an important part of the scientific process, yet is often one of the most challenging to achieve.

Email address
Your name
Your answer
Your answer
Position at institution
Your answer
Title of Data Nugget
When thinking of your title, try and choose something that would catch the eye of a teacher or student as they scroll through our list.
Your answer
Reading & Content Level
Data Nugget activities are ranked from 1-4 according to the reading, vocabulary, and content level of the background information provided to students. Activities of the highest level (4) are probably inappropriate for younger students, but level 1 activities are still appropriate to use with higher-level students if the quantitative skills they teach are relevant.
Research Background
Write clearly and concisely, keeping in mind your audience. Keep sentences short, and break compound sentences into simpler sentences. Remove any unnecessary words, and use plain language, avoiding jargon and technical terms. Keep paragraphs short (~100-200 words per paragraph).
Paragraph 1
Scientific background knowledge. Get the reader excited about the research – what do they need to know to understand the topic and experiment?
Your answer
Paragraph 2
Bring in exploration and discovery – discuss how you first became interested in the topic and how you developed your hypothesis. If applicable, discuss prior experiences and preliminary data that lead to the study.
Your answer
Paragraph 3
State your hypothesis and describe your methods. A hypothesis is an explanation for an observation, not just a description of the pattern you expect to observe. Describe the experiment or study and your data – What is a simple description of the study design? What are the variables that were manipulated or measured? What would you expect to observe in these variables if your hypothesis were true?
Your answer
Scientific Question
Ask a scientific question that can be answered with the data provided. A scientific question should frame how your research contributes to the field, not simply ask for a summary of patterns in the data. Avoid yes/no questions.
Your question
Your answer
Data & Figures
Include a table of data from your research. You may have to simplify the data so that it is manageable for a student who is graphing by hand, but don’t worry if your data is messy – that is part of research! You may include data on other variables so students will have to figure out those that address the scientific question.
Independent (predictor) variable(s)
Your answer
Dependent (response) variable(s)
Your answer
Send Separate Files to Liz
Check off each box to confirm that you have sent the item in an email to Liz at
Include a table of data from your research in Excel. You may have to simplify the data so that it is manageable for a student who is graphing by hand, but don’t worry if your data is messy – that is part of research! You may include data on other variables so students will have to figure out those that address the scientific question.
Please provide graph(s) in Excel to demonstrate how you visualize your data. Don't worry about making it pretty. We will make versions of your graph for the Teacher Guides and Student Activities.
Include pictures of the experiment or study species. A picture of the researcher collecting data is best. By sending this image you give Data Nuggets permission to use it on worksheets, on the website, and in presentations. If you would like an image credit to be included, please send that information in the email as well.
Interpret the Data
In this section, we are asking students to construct explanations and interact with quantitative information in three different ways: 1. Observe and identify trends in data, 2. Support a claim using data as evidence, and 3. Interpret data in context of science.
Make a claim that answers the scientific question.
Write out the claim, or conclusion about a problem. The claim can be written as a statement that answers the scientific question.
Your answer
What evidence was used to write your claim? Reference specific parts of the table or graph.
Data becomes evidence when it supports the claim and helps answer the scientific question. Indicate what numbers from the table or points on the graph best support the claim, or what parts of the graph students could circle for support.
Your answer
Explain your reasoning and why the evidence supports your claim. Connect the data back to what you learned about [major theme from Research Background].
Describe your reasoning or the justification, built from scientific principles, for why the evidence supports the claim. Reasoning should contain two parts: (1) Why does the evidence support the claim? (2) What is the underlying science concept?
Your answer
Did the data support [your name]’s hypothesis? Use evidence to explain why or why not. If you feel the data was inconclusive, explain why.
Does the data support your hypothesis? In what way does the data follow predictions, and in what ways does it not? Are there alternative interpretations of the data? Are there alternative hypotheses or other mechanisms that could be operating? Students may be tempted to overstate experiment findings, so talk about what we can and can't conclude from the study. What data would be necessary to extend these findings?
Your answer
Your Next Steps as a Scientist
Science is an ongoing process. What new question do you think should be investigated? What future data should be collected to answer your question?
Describe your next steps as a scientist, even if they are just future plans. The teacher can then share these with the class when they discuss this section. List any future questions you tested or plan to test in this study system. Are there questions that students could address in their own inquiry experiment?
Your answer
Thank you for submitting your Data Nugget!
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