Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Exploring Scientific Methods - Section 2: Explore/Explain


Scientific practices are the meat and potatoes of scientific inquiry. While there is plenty of discipline-specific content to learn within the NGSS core disciplinary ideas, the practices are the tools that allow students to explore the ideas working as scientists.

For more on the nature of science, visit the University of California Site: Understanding Science. On this site there are interesting case studies of experiments illustrating the importance of modeling as a scientific practice. Models are used to help predict or describe phenomena (SP2).

While the activity in this lesson may not be a traditional concept for modeling, I liked the elegance of having students practice creating process models about the very processes they will be using to plan and carry out investigations (SP3). 

Some additional resources on this topic:

A Closer Look: Scientific Models

Models are the Building Blocks of Science

Scientific Models

NCAR Models

  Scientific Practice - Modeling Processes
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Scientific Practice - Modeling Processes
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Exploring Scientific Methods

Unit 3: Scientific Inquiry Practices
Lesson 1 of 5

Objective: SWBAT know and use the steps of the scientific method to design experiments.

Big Idea: Just as scientists follow different paths to solve scientific problems, students learn about the creativity and variety of approaches called the scientific method.

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Science, Physical Science, experimental design, Scientific Method (Science Skills), Experimental Group, control (Scientific Method), experimental evidence, variable, control groups, independent variable, dependent variable, experiment, inquiry
  50 minutes
scientific method
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