- UC Museum of Paleontology
- lab activity
- Physical Sciences
Time: Two class periods
Students conduct experiments on the rate that sand and water heat up and cool down. Based on their observations, they make hypotheses about why materials heat up and cool down at different rates and then test their ideas.
- [What is science?: Grades 6-8] Science is both a body of knowledge and the process for building that knowledge. (NOS5)
- [What is science?: Grades 6-8] Science aims to build explanations of the natural world. (P3, P6)
- [What is science?: Grades 6-8] Science deals with the natural world and natural explanations.
- [What is science?: Grades 6-8] Science works only with testable ideas. (P2, P3, NOS2)
- [What is science?: Grades 6-8] 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)
- [What is science?: Grades 6-8] Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as new ideas surface and new evidence is discovered. (P6, NOS3)
- [How science works: Grades 6-8] The process of science involves observation, exploration, testing, communication, and application.
- [How science works: Grades 6-8] Scientists test their ideas by predicting what they would expect to observe if their idea were true and then seeing if that prediction is correct. (P4, P6)
- [Hypotheses and theories: Grades 6-8] Hypotheses are potential explanations for what we observe in the natural world. (P6)
- [Hypotheses and theories: Grades 6-8] Hypotheses are usually inspired and informed by previous research and/or observations. They are not guesses. (P6)
- NOS Matrix understanding category 2. Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence.
- NOS Matrix understanding category 5. Science is a way of knowing.
- Science and Engineering Practice 2. Developing and using models
- Science and Engineering Practice 6. Constructing explanations and designing solutions
- Science and Engineering Practice 7. Engaging in argument from evidence
This lab is modified from a text book version in order to better reflect the process of science. The word "hypothesis" is often used incorrectly in textbooks. A hypothesis should involve an explanation, based on observations, prior knowledge and logic. A hypothesis is not just a guess. Watch out for the misuse of the word "hypothesis" in textbooks and tell your students to be on the lookout too!