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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.
Nature and Process of Science
One class period
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.
- 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)
- Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as new ideas surface and new evidence is discovered. (P4, P6, NOS3)
- Scientific ideas cannot be absolutely proven.
- 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 can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.
- Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence. (P6, NOS2)
- Scientists look for patterns in their observations and data. (P4, P5, NOS2)
- Scientists try to be objective and work to identify and avoid bias.
- Different scientists may interpret the same data in different ways. (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)
- Scientists usually work collaboratively. (NOS7)
- Scientists are influenced by their personal experiences and cultures. (NOS7)