Challenge is a positive component of any science learning environment; in fact, without challenge, growth does not happen. The right level of challenge, i.e. one that requires investment of effort but where success is within reach, is often perceived as highly enjoyable and engaging, thereby boosting concentration and interest. However, challenge is perceived subjectively and changes as skills grow, and therefore it is important that science teachers continuously assess their learning environments to ensure that these are optimally challenging for their female and male students. You can read more about this and the impact of challenge on student engagement in chapter 9.
Resources to support teachers in challenging students can be found by clicking on the links shown at right. Those resources include handouts and activities, further reading, links to recommended websites, and short (~ 3 minute) video clips illustrating the importance of this concept to practicing scientists and showing exemplary high school teachers who practice the strategies recommended in the book.