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Exploring bouncing balls


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Students explore the physical properties of a variety of balls and how they bounce. Students then reflect on the process they used by charting their pathway on the Understanding Science Flowchart.



Physical Sciences, Nature and Process of Science

One class period

Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Science deals with the natural world and natural explanations.

  • Science works only with testable ideas. (P2, P3, NOS2)

  • Scientists strive to test their ideas with evidence from the natural world; a hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing. (P3, P4, P6, P7, NOS2)

  • Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as new ideas surface and new evidence is discovered. (P6, NOS3)

  • The process of science involves observation, exploration, testing, communication, and application.

  • Scientists test their ideas by predicting what they would expect to observe if their idea were true and then seeing if that prediction is correct. (P4, P6)

  • Scientists look for patterns in their observations and data. (P4, P5)

  • Raw data must be analyzed and interpreted before we can tell whether a scientific idea is likely to be accurate or inaccurate. (P4, P5)

  • Hypotheses are potential explanations for what we observe in the natural world. (P6)

  • Hypotheses are usually inspired and informed by previous research and/or observations. They are not guesses. (P6)

  • Scientists usually work collaboratively.

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