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Grade 4 Interactive Computer Task Mystery Plants: 40 minutes


FOURTH-GRADERS CAN DO SIMPLE INVESTIGATIONS BUT STRUGGLE WITH EXPLANATIONS AND MORE COMPLEXITYTake the Mystery Plants Task. See your answers, get scoring materials, and more! This task takes 40 minutes.

The NAEP interactive computer tasks enabled fourth-graders to interact with science problem-solving situations that would have been difficult to re-create in a paper-and-pencil classroom environment. In this task, students were first asked to consider how sunlight affected both a sun-loving and a shade-loving plant. This part of the task was fairly simple and students at all levels were largely able to perform the procedures, while the more challenging investigation of the effects of fertilizer required students to be more strategic and was therefore more difficult for students.

  • See how selected student groups performed on the Plant A, Plant B, and the Fertilizer Experiments.
  • See scoring materials for this task.

  • Use the three tabs below to navigate through the parts of this task.

Part 1: Plant A
Part 2: Plant B
Part 3: Fertilizer


SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2009 Science Assessment.