While in grad school, I was lucky enough to be selected to teach elementary school science in an inner-city school as part of the NSF's GK-12 program. I team-taught with the main classroom teacher 4 afternoons a week, using inquiry-based methods. Our pedagogic approach was very hands-on, and we had to think on our feet a lot. It was not easy for us to lesson plan, but we did our best.
The results? Out of ~35 kids, all of whom were getting free lunches (and all save one living in single-parent/grandparent households), most of whom had no previous science education, roughly 55% passed the state-mandate science proficiency test. That might not sound so great, but since the previous year's class had a passing rate of about 17%, we were ecstatic. We also had good participation in a "science club" held after-school, with more inquiry-based activities. At one point, late in the year, our students even understood free body diagrams (they were about 10 years old) as part of understanding Newton's 3rd law- something my college students typically struggled with.
Inquiry is powerful stuff. It harnesses the thing that makes people interested in science in the first place: innate curiosity.