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Lesson summary for:
How science works

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Overview:
This Science in Action video uses the Understanding Science Flowchart to follow arachnologist Charles Griswold and colleagues as they describe the process involved in an exciting new spider discovery.

Author/Source:
California Academy of Sciences

Grade:
6-8

Discipline:
Life Science, Nature and Process of Science

Time:
10 minutes

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)

  • 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 look for patterns in their observations and data. (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)

  • Science depends on communication within the scientific community. (P7, P8)

  • Scientists usually work collaboratively.

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

  • Anyone can participate in science.

  • Scientific knowledge helps us make decisions that affect our lives every day.

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