Model-Based Inquiry


This site provides the information you need to plan and implement a model-based inquiry (MBI) unit in your science class. We include a planning template to assist science teachers in the planning of MBI units. The template, developed and tested with secondary science teachers, provides support for the design and implementation of rigorous and equitable instruction through engagement with the practices of science such as modeling, explanation, and argumentation. Designed to support three dimensional learning, the planning template guides teachers through the “unpacking” of standards, choosing a phenomenon to anchor instruction, and the development of models and explanations that act as core sense-making activities throughout the unit. Also included on the site are resources and tools to support your work on MBI. Check back often as new resources are added regularly! 

Ready to get started?

1) Explore the background of MBI and the individual stages of MBI unit design: What is MBI?

2) Begin using the MBI template by creating a copy for yourself: MBI Template

3) As you engage with the template, click through to see examples units and utilize our support pages for topics important to MBI planning and instruction: Examples and Support

Coming soon!

The MBI Team has begun writing a series of books with NSTA Press to provide tested and classroom ready units for high school science teachers. See below for a sneak peek at the anchoring phenomena in our upcoming high school biology and chemistry books. Units for other subjects currently under development.

General Sherman

Whale Plumes

Freja's Skin Cancer

Evolution of the Lapsillis Mussel




Radium Girls

Where are science teachers using our resources?

In 139 different countries (71% of the world!), all 50 US states, and in teacher education and professional development programs throughout the world!