This study investigated the impact of an open inquiry experience on elementary science methods students' understanding of celestial motion as well as the methods developed by students to answer their own research questions. Pre/post interviews and assessments were used to measure change in participants' understanding (N = 18). A qualitative approach was used to describe the nature of each participant's investigation through an analysis of their science journal and poster presentations. A comparison of participants' inquiry projects with the change in their understanding revealed that while most participants improved in both their area of inquiry and beyond, elementary science methods students may need more guidance to reach a full scientific understanding across all aspects of celestial motion.
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