Laboratory investigations that include the use of scientific inquiry, research, measurement, problem-solving, laboratory apparatus and technologies, experimental procedures, and safety procedures are an integral part of this course. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) recommends that at the high school level, all students should be in the science lab or field, collecting data every week. School laboratory investigations (labs) are defined by the National Research Council (NRC) as an experience in the laboratory, classroom, or the field that provides students with opportunities to interact directly with natural phenomena or with data collected by others using tools, materials, data collection techniques, and models.
Laboratory investigations in the high school classroom should help all students develop a growing understanding of the complexity and ambiguity of empirical work, as well as the skills to calibrate and troubleshoot equipment used to make observations. Learners should understand measurement error, and have the skills to aggregate, interpret, and present the resulting data (National Research Council.