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Amazon fly
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.

Grade: College

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

How scientific is it?
Students are given six knowledge statements and asked to rank them according to how scientific they feel the statements are. A group discussion ensues. This activity is adapted from Scharmann et al. 2005. Journal of Science Teacher Education.

Grade: College

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Introducing the Understanding Science flowchart
Students participate in a quick activity and discuss whether they were doing science. They then read a story about Walter Alvarez, discuss the process of science, and trace his scientific journey using the Science Flowchart.

Grade: College

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Mystery boxes: Uncertainty and collaboration
Students manipulate sealed "mystery" boxes to determine the inner structure of the boxes. The nature and sources of uncertainty inherent in the process of problem-solving are experienced, but reduced by collaboration.

Grade: College

Source: ENSI

Resource type: classroom activity

Mystery tubes
Students are asked to determine what the interior construction of the mystery tube looks like. Working in groups, students pose explanations for what they are observing and test their ideas.

Grade: College

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Number patterns
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.

Grade: College

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

The great fossil find
Students are taken on an imaginary fossil hunt and form hypotheses about the identity of the creature they discover. Students revise their hypotheses as new evidence is found.

Grade: College

Source: ENSI

Resource type: classroom activity

The Hobbit: When scientists disagree about the evidence
This classroom activity, adapted from an exercise on PBS's NOVA website, provides an excellent example of an active debate within the scientific community regarding a relatively recent human fossil find, Homo floresiensis.

Grade: College

Source: Visionlearning

Resource type: classroom activity

Umbrellaology
Based on a classic philosophical exercise (Somerville, 1941), students are asked to read a letter that describes detailed data collected on umbrellas. Their task is to determine whether or not umbrellaology represents science.

Grade: College

Source: Johnston, Adam

Resource type: classroom activity

Amazon fly
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.

Grade: 9-12

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Clipbirds
In this activity, students simulate bird feeding with "beaks" that differ in size. The proportion of big-, medium-, and small-beaked birds changes in response to available types of food. This is a lesson on evolution, but suggestions on how to incorporate the nature and process of science are included.

Grade: 9-12

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Crime scene: The case of the missing computer chip
In this classroom activity, teams of students use clues to adjust working hypotheses about an unsolved crime. The nature and process of science are recognized through discussion of the crime solution metaphor.

Grade: 9-12

Source: ENSI

Resource type: classroom activity

Dogs and turnips
In this lesson students attempt to assemble a meaningful sentence by successively turning over cards with words on them. The point is made that we change our ideas of what a story may be as we gather more information.

Grade: 9-12

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Introducing the Understanding Science flowchart
Students participate in a quick activity and discuss whether they were doing science. They then read a story about Walter Alvarez, discuss the process of science, and trace his scientific journey using the Science Flowchart.

Grade: 9-12

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Mystery boxes: Uncertainty and collaboration
Students manipulate sealed "mystery" boxes to determine the inner structure of the boxes. The nature and sources of uncertainty inherent in the process of problem-solving are experienced, but reduced by collaboration.

Grade: 9-12

Source: ENSI

Resource type: classroom activity

Mystery tubes
Students are asked to determine what the interior construction of the mystery tube looks like. Working in groups, students pose explanations for what they are observing and test their ideas.

Grade: 9-12

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Number patterns
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.

Grade: 9-12

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Poking around
Students are introduced to the process of scientific inquiry as they develop an approach to determine the shape and size of an unseen object.

Grade: 9-12

Source: Stefanski, Mark

Resource type: classroom activity

The checks lab
Students construct plausible scenarios to explain a series of canceled bank checks. They revise their original hypotheses with new evidence and learn how human values and biases influence observation and interpretation.

Grade: 9-12

Source: ENSI

Resource type: classroom activity

The great fossil find
Students are taken on an imaginary fossil hunt and form hypotheses about the identity of the creature they discover. Students revise their hypotheses as new evidence is found.

Grade: 9-12

Source: ENSI

Resource type: classroom activity

The Hobbit: When scientists disagree about the evidence
This classroom activity, adapted from an exercise on PBS's NOVA website, provides an excellent example of an active debate within the scientific community regarding a relatively recent human fossil find, Homo floresiensis.

Grade: 9-12

Source: Visionlearning

Resource type: classroom activity

Xenosmilus
In this lesson, students play the roles of paleontologists on a dig. They “unearth” a few fossils at a time and attempt to reconstruct the animal the fossils represent.

Grade: 9-12

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Amazon fly
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.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Clipbirds
In this activity, students simulate bird feeding with "beaks" that differ in size. The proportion of big-, medium-, and small-beaked birds changes in response to available types of food. This is a lesson on evolution, but suggestions on how to incorporate the nature and process of science are included.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Crime scene: The case of the missing computer chip
In this classroom activity, teams of students use clues to adjust working hypotheses about an unsolved crime. The nature and process of science are recognized through discussion of the crime solution metaphor.

Grade: 6-8

Source: ENSI

Resource type: classroom activity

Dino-Data
Students examine data about dinosaurs and hypothesize about what the data can tell them. Students modify their hypotheses as more information is revealed and review what they have learned about how science works.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Dogs and turnips
In this lesson students attempt to assemble a meaningful sentence by successively turning over cards with words on them. The point is made that we change our ideas of what a story may be as we gather more information.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Introducing the Understanding Science Flowchart to middle school students
Students read a story about Walter Alvarez and then plot his scientific journey on the Understanding Science Flowchart. Students find that science is seldom a linear story.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Mystery tubes
Students are asked to determine what the interior construction of the mystery tube looks like. Working in groups, students pose explanations for what they are observing and test their ideas.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Number patterns
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.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

The great fossil find
Students are taken on an imaginary fossil hunt and form hypotheses about the identity of the creature they discover. Students revise their hypotheses as new evidence is found.

Grade: 6-8

Source: ENSI

Resource type: classroom activity

Xenosmilus
In this lesson, students play the roles of paleontologists on a dig. They “unearth” a few fossils at a time and attempt to reconstruct the animal the fossils represent.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Mystery boxes for grades 3-5
Working in groups, students pose explanations (hypotheses) for what they are observing and are asked to test their hypotheses. These procedures have been modified from Mystery Boxes: Uncertainty and Collaboration by Jean Beard.

Grade: 3-5

Source: Janulaw, Sharon

Resource type: classroom activity

Sensing Energy
Students perform simple experiments using UV detection beads to explore unseen energy produced by the sun.

Grade: 3-5

Source: AAAS Science NetLinks

Resource type: classroom activity

Tennis shoe detectives
Students make observations, examine data, and form hypotheses about a set of footprints and what they can tell us.

Grade: 3-5

Source: Heindel, Sharon

Resource type: classroom activity

Xenosmilus
In this lesson, students play the roles of paleontologists on a dig. They “unearth” a few fossils at a time and attempt to reconstruct the animal the fossils represent.

Grade: 3-5

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

Comparing rocks
Learners will observe and sort samples of rocks and minerals to compare and contrast their physical properties. They will record their observations in Science Notebooks.

Grade: K-2

Source: Janulaw, Sharon

Resource type: classroom activity

Exploring how liquids behave
Learners observe how liquids behave and record their observations. Then they combine two of the liquids and observe and record how the liquids behave.

Grade: K-2

Source: Janulaw, Sharon

Resource type: classroom activity

Exploring liquids
Learners will use their senses to investigate and observe three liquids. They will see, hear, touch, smell and taste to collect data and to ask and answer questions.

Grade: K-2

Source: Janulaw, Sharon

Resource type: classroom activity

Traveling through different liquids
Learners will observe and record what happens when they manipulate bottles containing one liquid and an object. They will compare bottles that have an object and different liquids. They will observe and record what happens when they manipulate bottles containing one liquid and more than one object.

Grade: K-2

Source: Janulaw, Sharon

Resource type: classroom activity

Watching animals move
Learners will identify the way animals move and the body parts used to move by observing animals, their body parts and their movements.

Grade: K-2

Source: Janulaw, Sharon

Resource type: classroom activity


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