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LESSON PLAN: Vaping Research Project


Students will carry out an investigation to collect and present data about their peers' knowledge and attitudes about e⁠-⁠cigarettes.



  • 6.SP.A.1 Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates variability
  • 6.SP.B.4 Display data, including using dot plots
  • 7.SP.A Representative sampling and inferencing
  • 8.SP.A.1 Construct and interpret scatter plots


  • SL.4 Present claims and findings


  • D4.1 Construct arguments using evidence


  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
  • Patterns


person pointing at a chalkboard

Plan an E⁠-⁠Cigarette Survey Activity (A downloadable PDF is available here.)


40 Minutes

LESSON PLAN: Vaping Research Project

ACTIVITY: Plan an E⁠-⁠Cigarette Survey

Help students spread the word about the health consequences of e⁠-⁠cigarette use by designing and conducting a survey at school.


Explain that students will be conducting an anonymous survey to learn what their peers know about the health risks associated with e⁠-⁠cigarettes. Ask students to share questions they have, such as: How much nicotine is in most e⁠-⁠cigarettes? Record their questions on the board. As a class, brainstorm specific survey questions that could gain peer responses to their questions, such as: Did you know that the addictive chemical nicotine is in most e⁠-⁠cigarettes? Did you know the teen brain is even more vulnerable to addiction than the adult brain?


Separate the class into small groups. Distribute the Plan an E⁠-⁠Cigarette Survey activity sheet and have students complete steps 1 and 2. Remind them to work collaboratively and participate actively.


Review step 3 of the activity sheet as a class. Tell the class they will be creating aggregate data (grouped). To maintain student privacy, have students create a questionnaire sheet, make copies, and pass it out for peers to mark answers anonymously. Completed surveys can go in a cardbox or manila envelope, taped shut with a slit on top. Each group’s survey can be labeled with a keyword that is also written on their box or envelope. Emphasize the importance of being organized when collating data so that nothing gets duplicated or lost, rendering the data untrustworthy.


Discuss what a diverse, representative sample would look like across the school. In addition to considering gender and race, students should find a diverse mix of other students with various interests and sports or club participation, different friend groups, introverted and extroverted, etc.


Direct students to conduct their surveys and then analyze and graph their data. Finally, have each group create a presentation that clearly describes how the survey was conducted, uses visual elements to present their data, and includes conclusions they made based on their data.

  • To support striving learners: Discuss what types of graphs would be more useful for displaying data.
  • To increase the challenge: Have students compare their results with national surveys and consider why the data may be similar or different (e.g., sample size, concerns about anonymity, etc.).

Guide students to critically analyze each group’s presentation and assess how well the evidence supported the group's conclusions. Encourage them to be respectful while also providing constructive feedback. Some sentence starters you can use to guide them are:

  • One thing they did well was…
  • One thing they could improve on is…
  • Something I learned that struck me was...
  • A question I have is...

Wrap up by reading facts aloud from the Vaping Facts and Misperceptions infographic to help dispel any incorrect statements about e⁠-⁠cigarettes that may have arisen in survey presentations.


Have students use their data to create anti-vaping info cards. For example, if they found that their peers think e⁠-⁠cigarettes don’t contain nicotine, they should create a card explaining that they do (with source). Prompt them to choose facts and images that’ll make teens pay attention. Reproduce the cards for students to pass out or leave on lunch tables to spread the word.