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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

10-15 minutes

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

  • Science focuses on natural phenomena and processes.

  • Science works only with testable ideas.

  • Scientists strive to test their ideas with evidence from the natural world; a hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.

  • 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.

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

  • Hypotheses are proposed explanations for a narrow set of phenomena.

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

  • Problem-solving and decision-making benefit from a scientific approach.

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