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Dino-Data

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Overview:
Students examine data about dinosaurs and hypothesize about what the data can tell them. Students modify their hypotheses as more information is revealed and review what they have learned about how science works.

Author/Source:
UCMP

Grade:
6-8

Discipline:
Life Science, Earth science

Time:
3-4 class periods

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

  • Science is both a body of knowledge and the process for building that knowledge. (NOS5)

  • Science aims to build explanations of the natural world. (P3, P6)

  • Science deals with the natural world and natural explanations.

  • 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)

  • Science is ongoing; answering one scientific question frequently leads to additional questions to be investigated. (P1)

  • The real process of science is complex, iterative, and can take many different paths.

  • 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 can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence.

  • Scientists often try to generate multiple explanations for what they observe. (P7)

  • Different scientists may interpret the same data in different ways. (P7)

  • 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.

  • Scientists check each other's work, often through peer review. (P7)

Teacher background:

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