Data Quality Hunt

Vital Signs Kick-Start for Returning Students

Has it been a few months (or a year) since your students have taken part in a Vital Signs investigation? Do you have a few new students that missed your initial investigation? One way to ease everyone back into Vital Signs and shine the spotlight on quality data observations is to use the Data Quality Hunt (make this a link) resource provided by the Vital Signs team.

There are many ways to use this resource in your classroom - below is an explanation for how I used it this past year with my 7th and 8th grade students. Please note that each class of students had done the modified 10 day curriculum (make this a link) the previous year.

On the first day of our Vital Signs unit we discussed what “quality data” meant. Students focused a lot of attention on quality photos but not much discussion was had around the written evidence. After a brief discussion, I handed out the Data Quality Hunt. Each group (of 2 to 3 students) searched the Vital Signs database for examples of high quality data and not so high quality “okay” data. In addition to filling the sheet out, I asked my students to take screen-shots of the data they referenced and make a slideshow. When complete, each group presented their findings and had to expand on their reasoning for choosing each post.

I believe the process of making a presentation and sharing was the key piece of this data quality hunt. It was a very general way of getting the whole class on board about what was and wasn’t quality data, reminded them of how to navigate the Vital Signs webpage, and helped inspire them to choose missions they were interested in.

On a side note, many groups chose to look back at their posts from previous investigations. This generated an unexpected opportunity for self-reflection. However you use this - as a pre or post assessment, an introduction, conclusion, or just fun activity - I think it is a key piece to the Vital Signs experience.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
Data Quality Hunt; Modified 10-day curriculum
How should others reference your work?: 
Mrs. Tate


The Data Quality Hunt aligns to the NGSS in the following ways:

*Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Engaging in argument from evidence in 6–8 builds from K–5 experiences and progresses to constructing a convincing argument that supports or refutes claims for either explanations or solutions about the natural and designed world.
Construct and present oral and written arguments supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to a problem.

Because students are being asked to evaluate other students' data for sound claims and evidence and it great practice in engaging in argument from evidence.

After hearing this idea at the most recent Vital Signs professional development session, I thought it sounded great. Here's the version that I created, which is very similar. Thanks, Sue

Here's the link -