Inquiry-based science is an approach to science education that is student-constructed as opposed to teacher-transmitted, hands-on as opposed to lecture-based. Students learn science by using methods, adopting attitudes, and applying skills as scientists do when conducting scientific research. Students are able to find their own problems and generate their own questions, formulate their own hypotheses, design and implement their own methods for testing their hypothesis, and use their own data to answer original questions. Even though students direct the course of study, the teacher still assesses the progress and introduces the critical skills and concepts. An inquiry-based classroom enables students to actively construct meaningful knowledge rather than passively acquire facts.
Science and Technology Concepts (STC): http://www.carolinacurriculum.com/STC/About+STC.asp