Data Puzzles: Fostering Inquiry-Based K-12 Science Teaching with Authentic Data

Program Contact

Lynne Harden


Data Puzzles are educational activities that combine classroom-friendly scientific datasets with the research-backed pedagogical practices of Ambitious Science Teaching to give middle and high school students the ultimate inquiry-based learning experience. Ambitious Science Teaching is the “gold standard” for three-dimensional science teaching and learning, and was co-developed by University of Colorado Boulder School of Education faculty member Dr. Melissa Braaten. This project is an effort to scale up and expand the Data Puzzles mission and reach by teaming up teachers from around Colorado and the country and scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) to co-design Data Puzzles using authentic scientific datasets.

Working with diverse and underserved audiences is an important goal of the Data Puzzles project; therefore, we will prioritize recruiting middle and high school teachers and students in diverse underserved rural Colorado school districts and urban Denver Public Schools (DPS) to participate in Data Puzzle co-design. 

  • Educator Workshop: Data Puzzles - Analyze Authentic Data With Inquiry-Based Practices


    Online Resource


    6/3/2021 - 6/4/2021

    Public or Private

    Public Program (open to the public)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

    Additional Info

    In this free virtual teacher workshop, participants will learn about the Data Puzzle instructional framework and will leave with the skills tools they need to implement Data Puzzle resources in their own classrooms. Visit for more information.

Sponsoring Units

  • Research Institutes

  • Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)
  • Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS)
  • School of Education

Audiences Served

  • Students - Middle School
  • Students - High School
  • Teachers - Middle School
  • Teachers - High School