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Portfolios, in assessment terms, are collections of students' work that demonstrate what they have learned and are able to do over a period of time. In science, it's a bit trickier to use the portfolio method to best advantage. Since the ultimate goal of the portfolio contents is to demonstrate learning and skill acquisition, it is often helpful to include pieces from the beginning, middle and end of the school year. For example, you might want students to keep samples of how they graphed data, how they wrote up investigations, and how they displayed their findings throughout the year. It is particularly informative to have samples of fair tests that students designed and carried out themselves, to track progress in formulating testable questions and identifying and manipulating variables.