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How science works


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This video uses the Understanding Science flowchart to describe how a team of scientists investigates climate change throughout Earth's history with ocean sediment cores.



Nature and Process of Science, Earth science

10 minutes

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

  • 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. (P4, 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.

  • Researchers share their findings with the scientific community through scientific publications. (P8)

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

  • Scientists usually work collaboratively. (NOS7)

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