What is the RIP®?

Also known as the Research Investigation Process, RIP® is a critical thinking and learning model, based on scientific inquiry, recognized as an Exemplary Program in Science Education by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). RIP® is aligned with state education standards, National Science Education Standards (NSES), and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and fully encompasses the “practices” in the Next Generation Science Standards.

The bulleted points below illustrate what RIP® is, and what it is not.


  • is aligned with and promotes achievement of the national standards More Emphasis conditions.
  • not only addresses the process standards in science, but also naturally brings in the non-process science standards through the design of the program and embedded strategies.
  • integrates learning across the four STEM content areas and contributes toward the integration of STEM practices for enrichment of learning.
  • produces scientifically-researched impact data that indicate that attitudes toward science and performance in science, from Grades K-12, are significantly improved when applying this process to instruction and learning.
  • is a truly student-centered approach to education that motivates students, through its direct relevance to their lives, to take ownership of their own learning.
  • encourages students to self-assess their logic during each step of the investigation process and provides a variety of effective strategies and approaches for teachers to assess student thinking during the learning and application of the process.
  • provides the tools and strategies to move teachers and students from guided inquiry to an open-ended (authentic) inquiry.
  • is a habit-of-the-mind useful in everyday life, as it fosters critical thinking and decision-making skills for application beyond the classroom walls.
  • enables students to sharpen their attention to details and critically consume information and emphasizes the application of ethical behavior in decision making.
  • provides the inquiry process that can be coupled with any science education books, programs, and/or e-resources (which serve as the source for background content information).
  • is a highly effective teaching and learning tool for all non-science content areas and thus has been well-received by elementary teachers and K-12 teachers who teach across content areas.

RIP® is NOT...

  • a teacher-led approach to learning.
  • a hands-on approach without an underlying thinking process.
  • a textbook-driven (-centered) program.
  • a kit-based science education program.
  • a set of labs that provide the design of studies to be replicated.

Read more about the RIP® uniqueness and philosophy.


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Watch the Video

View video featuring Chapter 4 author Wendy Gonsalves’s third grade students reflecting on their use of the RIP® to learn science and other standards-based content.