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4-H Science Blast in the Class: Science Process- Exploring How We Do Science

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June 5, 2020 - Author:

Key Concept:

When scientists (you) do science, they follow a certain process. It is important that we know the science process and that we use it. In fact, we all use the science process every day, we just don’t take the time to stop and think about it.

Grade Level: All grades Education

Subject: Science

Success Indicator: After completing this lesson, students will: 

  • Be able to write the steps of the science process. 
  • Understand the “shape” of science. 
  • See that science is something they do every day. 
  • Realize science is relevant to their lives. 
  • Begin to use this process in their science explorations.

Materials and Methods

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Lesson Time: 20 to 30 minutes

Space: Classroom

Materials: 

  • Science Process Signs (available online at http://4h.msue.msu.edu/4h/science_ blast) Print one for each step of the science process on an 8 ½- x 11-inch piece of paper 
  • The Science Process Worksheet (one per learner)

Background Information:

Scientists do their work in a specific way and they follow a certain process. It is important that as we do science, we know the science process and use it.

The science process is important so that other scientists can repeat what one person or group has done.

The science process is something that we do every day — we just don’t stop to think about it. Here is an example: you walk into a room, flip the light switch and nothing happens. Without even thinking you start doing science.

  1. Question: You immediately ask yourself, “Why didn’t the light go on?”
  2. Research: You have already done your research, you know that the light is supposed to go on and you know reasons that it might not turn on – the power is out, the bulb is burned out or a circuit breaker has blown.
  3. Hypothesis: You immediately make a hypothesis: I think the light did not go on because the bulb is burned out.
  4. Experiment: Your experiment probably consists of at least two steps: First, you check another room to make sure the light goes on in that room. Second, you decide to change the light bulb — remove the current bulb and replace it with a new one.
  5. Collect data: Your first data is whether other lights are on in the house. When you remove the light bulb you shake it to see if it rattles. After you replace the light bulb you try the switch again and see if the light works.
  6. Explain data: Your data shows that other lights in the house work, so your data tells you that the power is still on. When you shake the light bulb and it rattles you know that usually means it is burned out. When the new bulb lights up you know that the old one was burned out. You conclude that your data — old bulb that rattles and new bulb that lights up — support your hypothesis that the light did not go on because the bulb was burned out.
  7. New questions: You might ask why the bulb burned out — was it old, was there something else wrong? You might also wonder if there are things you could do to make the bulb last longer and that might even lead to new experiments.

Instructions:

  1. Ask for seven volunteers.
  2. Give each volunteer a card (8.5 x 11) with one step of the science process written on it.
  3. Ask the students to keep the cards turned so others cannot read them.
  4. One by one, turn over the cards and read the steps.
  5. Arrange the cards into the proper order—ask the rest of the students to suggest the proper order — rearrange your volunteers.
  6. Have each student write down each step using the science process worksheet. 
  7. Have the students look closely at the first and last steps of the process.
  8. Now ask, “What is the shape of science? What does science look like?” Ask the students other questions about science — “What is its color? What is its flavor? How old is it?”

Check for Understanding: 

  • Why is the science process important? 
  • What is the shape of science? 
  • What is the color of science? 
  • What is the flavor of science? 
  • How do you use science process every day? 
  • How old do you have to be to do science?

Learn More:

Check out this interactive science process guide at http://4h.msue. msu.edu/4h/science_blast.

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Tags: 4-h, 4-h science blast, msu extension


Related Topic Areas

4-H Science Blast in the Class, 4-H

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