The Scientific Method with Alexis Toliver:
Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence that can meet the goals of the investigation
Understand that scientists are always finding better descriptions of the world and then updating scientific theories.
Keep accurate records.
Understand that science is not a perfect description of the world.
Guiding ideas for The Scientific Method
Science is a model of the world around us, but it isn’t complete. Scientific theories are always being tested with experiments and if they get a result that doesn’t agree with the theory then that theory gets updated.
It may start with an observation (I noticed …), which leads to a question (I wonder …), then a hypothesis ( I think that..), followed by an experiment (I’ll test my idea ..) to check the hypothesis, the experiment may produce a new observation and so on. At some point the scientist(s) may form a conclusion (I discovered …) that they wish to report to other scientists and citizens. At that point anyone else can join the cycle and make their own experiments and observations.
A critical part of the method is recording methods, observations and conclusions so that anyone else can replicate the experiment.
Student activities in The Scientific Method
Explore Minecraft and make observations about the chemistry, biology and physics in the world.
Come up with a question that you wish to test, for example. How does gravity work? What things do plants need to grow? Which chemicals elements react together best?
Come up with a hypothesis and then design an experiment to test the hypothesis.
Make sure that you record all your observations, experiments and conclusions. Use a writable book. And don’t forget you can use the camera as well.
Report your results to your class, and see if you can repeat your class mates’ experiments.
Can you come up with a new experiment that builds on your class mates work?
Students should be able to formulate a theory and experiment to test it. They must keep a laboratory book which details their experiment, observations, theories and conclusions. They should then present their work to the class.
- Critical thinking