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Phenomena-Driven Inquiry
Unravel Phenomena through
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Discrepant events as you’ve
never seen them before!

Discover how to
engineer the unexpected!

Spark the passion to discover!

Bring the wonder to
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Phenomena-Driven Inquiry

A Strategy to Explore and Explain Phenomena Using the POQIE Model

Welcome to Phenomena-Driven Inquiry!

Across the United States, the way in which science education is delivered and experienced is at a pivotal point. We are in the midst of reassessing what it means to know, understand, and do science. Current educational reform establishes significant emphasis on phenomena-driven learning, positioned as a central focus of educational strategy, practice, and curricular expectation. The spotlight, weight, and emphasis on phenomena represents a revolutionary approach and charge in education.

Phenomena-Driven Inquiry and the POQIE (Predict, Observe, Question, Investigate, Explain) model introduce a powerful strategy for the investigation of scientific phenomena in the classroom. Representing 15 years of research and field-testing, the strategy centers on phenomena-driven investigations that guide students as they make sense of natural phenomena through the lens of a unique, inquiry-based approach.

Phenomena-Driven Inquiry and the POQIE model capitalize on student-generated questions sparked by the unexpected and startling nature of our world, captured through discrepant event phenomena. Discrepant events embody phenomena. Positioned at the core of the strategy, they instill cognitive conflict by contradicting beliefs and expectations. Leveraged by their curiosity, the model guides students through investigation, discourse, and argumentation as they collaboratively construct an understanding for the scientific concepts that underlie the observed phenomena.

Reflecting the most current research on how we learn, especially how we learn science, the book has two parts. Part one details every facet of Phenomena-Driven Inquiry, in depth. Additionally, you will learn the philosophy and theory behind the strategy. Plus, you will discover how to efficiently integrate Phenomena-Driven Inquiry into your curriculum. This section of the book also includes a thorough review of the strategy’s alignment to current education standards. It continues with a comprehensive examination of discrepant event phenomena and the power they present as a central feature of the POQIE model. In its entirety, part one provides the foundation for you to most effectively deliver Phenomena-Driven Inquiry to your students.

Part two is packed with an extensive array of nearly 100 uniquely developed discrepant event 3D lessons, involving 120 concepts from every discipline of science. Along with each detailed lesson plan, you will find necessary materials, potential variables for your students to investigate, an explanation of the science concept underlying the observed phenomenon, and tips for the most rewarding student learning experience. Most of the lessons also include variations involving presentation, resources, time, student abilities, and grade levels. Also accompanied with each 3D lesson is its specific alignment within the standards, as well as a complete description of its use within the POQIE model.

This is powerful pedagogy, a tremendous resource for the development of practices and curriculum for both pre-service and in-service science teachers.

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You can now download two cross-reference PDF files. One matches the lessons to specific science concepts. The other matches DCI's to the lessons. Scroll to the bottom of this page to download the PDF's.

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About The Author

Dr. Vince Mancuso 

Vince Mancuso, Ed.D., has been a middle school science teacher for 20 years. His research focuses on discrepant event phenomena in the science classroom and inquiry-based reform, specifically the development of inquiry-grounded curriculum and effective inquiry practices that enrich traditional classrooms. He developed and shaped Phenomena-Driven Inquiry and the POQIE model through fifteen years of extensive research and field-testing that began with his Master’s work, carried through his doctoral studies, and continued through several years of post-doctoral action research. He can be contacted through email at either or and can be followed on Twitter @discrepantevent.

His doctoral dissertation, “Using Discrepant Events in Science Demonstrations to Promote Student Engagement in Scientific Investigations: An Action Research Study”, has been downloaded over 36,000 times.

Ed.D., Teaching and Curriculum-  Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, University of Rochester, 2010
M.S., Science Education, SUNY Brockport, 2005
B.A., University of Rochester, 1999

Dr. Mancuso offers custom workshops and keynote presentations on topics concerning his research.

Presentations Offered:

  • Phenomena-Driven Inquiry: Its design, implementation, and assessment in the science curriculum. Discover a powerful approach to learning!
  • Discrepant Event Phenomena that Captivate: Discover discrepant events as you’ve never seen before.  Add wonder to your curriculum and ignite engagement in your classroom!
  • The Design, Implementation, and Assessment of 3-Dimensional Curriculum: Unlock the power of a unit or lesson driven by phenomena that compels students to better understand their world!


Each presentation addresses alignment with NGSS*.

Contact to request more info and availability.

* NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve.  Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.

There are two cross-references available here for download. The first will allow you to quickly identify all lessons in the book that align to specific science categories. The second will match DCI’s to the lessons. Click on the links below to download the PDF’s.

Concept Cross- Reference

DCI Cross Reference