This short activity quickly engages the participants in the process of developing testable hypotheses. Students come up with multiple hypotheses to explain a set of observations and figure out how to test these hypotheses.
Life Science, Nature and Process of Science
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.
- Science aims to build explanations of the natural world. (P3, P6)
- Science focuses on natural phenomena and processes.
- 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)
- The process of science involves observation, exploration, testing, communication, and application.
- Scientists test their ideas (hypotheses and theories) by figuring out what expectations are generated by an idea and making observations to find out whether those expectations are borne out. (P4, P6)
- Scientists often try to generate multiple explanations for what they observe. (P7)
- Hypotheses are proposed explanations for a narrow set of phenomena. (P6)
- Hypotheses are usually inspired and informed by previous research and/or observations. They are not guesses. (P6)
- Problem-solving and decision-making benefit from a scientific approach.