An Inquiry Expedition advances participants through a guided science research experience that emulates how science research expeditions really work. Focused on a compelling theme, a physical layout of Inquiry Stations enables participants to encounter interrelated natural phenomena, to apply scientific inquiry strategies, to gather and interpret data, and to construct conceptual understanding.

Participants are organized into field Inquiry Troupes and briefed on how to carry out a science enterprise (solve a problem, investigate a research question, create a product). Once briefed and prepared, each Inquiry Troupe member works together as co-researchers to complete an Expedition.

Science-savvy Inquiry Coaches are posted at each Inquiry Station to apply Diagnostic Coaching Strategies to ensure that learners make progress as they move through five successive Enterprise Zones. Inquiry Coaches engage participants one-to-one and as Inquiry Troupes in cogenerative dialogue at each Inquiry Station as they explore, investigate, construct, and then communicate new understandings.

Each Inquiry Station is powered by the ED 3 U Science Inquiry Model , a learning progression structure that constructivism and conceptual change theory. Inquiry Stations are designed as rich conceptual substrates corresponding to Vygotsky's zones of proximal development, advancing participants from naive personal conceptions toward personally-relevant and more expert understanding. In the process, each participant develops science talent and acquires science fluency.