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Students try to discover the relationship among six numbers. The objective of this activity is to engage students in a problem-solving situation in which they practice aspects of the process of science.
Nature and Process of Science
At the end of this activity, students are asked to reflect on whether they were doing science. The activity can serve as an effective introduction to or reminder about the process of science, as well as provide an opportunity for students to reflect on the basic characteristics that help delimit the scientific enterprise.
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.
- Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as new ideas surface and new evidence is discovered. (P4, P6, NOS3)
- 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 look for patterns in their observations and data. (P4, P5, NOS2)
- 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)
- Scientists usually work collaboratively. (NOS7)
- Problem-solving and decision-making benefit from a scientific approach.