John F. Kennedy High School

John F. Kennedy High School located in South Sacramento, California is a large ethnically diverse urban high school serving two-thousand students.  Select members of our science department comprising of one biology, one physics, one chemistry, and one Earth science teacher developed the following action research question:  "How Can Current 21st Century Instructional and Scientific Technology be Used to Improve the Scientific Content Knowledge and California Standards Test Scores of Underperforming Hmong, African American, and Hispanic Students?"  This question contributes to our teaching and student learning by first engaging our students through the use of technology.  Given Vernier data collection technology, students will be able to conduct authentic investigations as real scientists. They will have the opportunity to design, collect quantitative data, and critically analyze that data.  Developing strong and supported scientific explanations will be key.  Second, the use of a student response system and other authentic assessments will reinforce to the students that their understanding of content knowledge is foremost the goal of learning.  The anticipated results of engaging students in the learning process and authentic science are students that truly have a deeper understanding of science which will inevitably correlate to increased test scores.  These results will be measured by collecting data using the student response system, Data Director, laboratory reports and final presentations rubrics.  We will track their academic improvements throughout the year, and determine if our goal of 80% of the target students scoring one performance category higher than the previous year has been achieved.