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What is science
What is science?

What is science?

  • Science is both a body of knowledge and a process. Science is a process of observing and asking questions about the natural world. You may know this process as the scientific method. Scientists use their five senses—the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch—to observe and examine the natural world.

sci·ence/ˈsīəns/Noun

The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

Science is an organized body of knowledge gathered by observation and experimentation.


How long have people used science to gather knowledge about the world around them why
How long have people used science to gather knowledge about the world around them? Why?

Science began in the earliest days of humankind when people observed and recognized temporal patterns in nature: i.e., periodicity in the movements of the sun and moon, regularity in the change of the seasons.

People have been trying to figure out how nature works, in order to be able to control it. Relationships between cloud cover and rain patterns, length of day, change of seasons gives a better chance of not losing the crop, living longer.

Science was practiced by the Chinese in the second millennium B.C. In India, the Middle East, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Americas, humankind's study of the patterns and regularities of nature were recorded and bequeathed to future generations. This legacy of natural philosophy was called science.


  • There are many different scientific fields. Physics, chemistry, biology, and geology are the four most widely known fields of science. Physics is the study of the interactions between matter and energy. Chemistry is the study of how different forms of matter interact with one another. Biology is the study of life. And, geology is the study of the earth. All of these scientific disciplines have sub-disciplines that help scientists to focus their attention on particular kinds of observations. Nuclear physics is a sub-discipline of physics. A nuclear physicist studies the interaction between the tiny particles that make up atoms. An atom is the basic unit of a chemical molecule. Medicine is a sub-discipline of biology. A medical doctor studies the things that affect the health of the human body.

Phys – nature, ics – pertaining to, relating to.The first science was physics. It encompassed all types of inquiry into everything.

Matter + Energy  Physical Science

Physics is the study of matter and energy.

Today Physics is more often divided into physics and chemistry. We now have biology astronomy, psychology and so forth. Today there is so much scientific information that one person can not master it all. Take doctors for example. There used to be general practitioners. Now there are only specialists.


We believe that the universe obeys a set of rules that we call natural laws. We believe that everything that happens everywhere obeys the same natural laws. Unfortunately, the natural laws are not written down nor are we born knowing them. The primary goal of science is to discover what the natural laws are. Over time, we have found the most reliable way to discover the natural laws is called scientific inquiry.

What inquiry means

Inquiry is learning through questions

Learning by asking questions is called inquiry. An inquiry is like a

crime investigation in that there is a mystery to solve. With a crime,

something illegal happened and the detective must figure out what it

was. Solving the mystery means accurately describing what actually

happened.

Deduction One problem always is that the detective did not see what happened.

The detective must deduce what happened in the past from

information collected in the present.


Theories call In the process of inquiry, the detective asks lots of questions related to

the mystery. The detective searches for evidence and clues that help

answer the questions. Eventually, the detective comes up with a

theory about what happened that is a description of the crime and

what occured down to the smallest details.

How you know you have learned the truth

At first, the detective’s theory is only one explanation among several

of what might have happened. The detective must have proof that a

theory describes what did happen. To be proven, a theory must pass

three demanding tests. First, it must be supported by significant

evidence. Second, there cannot be even a single piece of evidence that

proves the theory is false. Third, the theory must be unique. If two

theories both fit the facts equally well, you cannot tell which is correct.

When the detective arrives at a theory that passes all three tests, he

or she believes they have learned from their inquiry what happened.

happened.


  • Over the past several hundred years, the scientific method has become the most successful means of gathering knowledge. The explanations that scientists have come up with to explain their observations has led to the development of many different kinds of technology. Technology is the science of the mechanical and industrial arts.

  • Experimentation helps scientists to learn faster than mere demonstration or trial and error. A demonstration is not the same as an experiment. For example: mixing baking soda (a white powder) with vinegar (a mild acid) produces carbon dioxide (a clear gas) bubbles. But this type of activity is not an experiment. It is a demonstration! You could conclude from such a demonstration that all white powders produce bubbles when mixed with vinegar. However, to test your conclusion you would have to experiment. You would have to mix other white powders (like sugar or salt) with vinegar and compare the results of your efforts. Your comparison in this second activity would be an experiment.


What is an experiment
What is an experiment? has become the most successful means of gathering knowledge. The explanations that scientists have come up with to explain their observations has led to the development of many different kinds of technology. Technology is the science of the mechanical and industrial arts.

  • So basically science is controlled observation used to solve problems and answer questions!

The tools of a scientist, like a microscope, telescope or space probe, help the scientist to "amplify" one or more of the five senses. After gathering information about the natural world a scientist arranges or classifies that information in an organized way. Organizing information helps the scientist to compare observations. An experiment is a carefully controlled comparison of observations.

  • Scientific investigation begins with curiosity. Scientists observe nature, and then try to explain how nature behaves. The job of observing, comparing, and explaining how nature behaves generates a "cycle of investigation" called the scientific method.


  • Science really came of age in the seventh century BC. in Ancient Greece. It slowed to a halt in the 5th century AD when the Roman Empire fell to invading barbarians. This ushered in the dark ages. At the same time though the Chinese were charting the stars and Arab nations were developing mathematics. Science was reintroduced to Europe in the 10th century.

  • In the 15th century art and science were blended by Leonardo da Vinci.

  • The printing press (16th cent.) spread science even more –to the common man.


  • The steps of the scientific method are as follows: Ancient Greece. It slowed to a halt in the 5th century AD when the Roman Empire fell to invading barbarians. This ushered in the dark ages. At the same time though the Chinese were charting the stars and Arab nations were developing mathematics. Science was reintroduced to Europe in the 10th century.

  • Observe and ask a question. State a problem.

  • Gather information related to the problem from others who may have already asked the same question. Do some research at the library.

  • Formulate an hypothesis to predict the outcome of a comparison. That is, make an educated guess about what your comparison will show. Base your guess on your library research.

  • Design an experiment that eliminates at least one possible outcome of your comparison.

  • Draw a conclusion that explains the outcome of your experiment.


  • Science is a way of understanding the world, not a mountain of facts. Before anyone can truly understand scientific information, they must know how science works. Science does not prove anything absolutely -- all scientific ideas are open to revision in the light of new evidence. The process of science, therefore, involves making educated guesses (hypotheses) that are then rigorously and repeatedly tested.


  • Using the Scientific Method of facts. Before anyone can truly understand scientific information, they must know how science works. Science does not prove anything absolutely -- all scientific ideas are open to revision in the light of new evidence. The process of science, therefore, involves making educated guesses (hypotheses) that are then rigorously and repeatedly tested.

  • The scientific method is a series of steps that the scientists use to answer questions and solve problems.

  • The steps are:

  • Ask a question

  • Form a hypothesis

  • Test the hypothesis

  • Analyze the results

  • Draw conclusions

  • Communicate results

  • An observation is any use of the senses to gather information.

  • A hypothesis is a possible answer to a question. A good hypothesis is testable. In fact a hypothesis that is not testable is not a hypothesis.

  • Observations are any information acquired through the use of your senses. They can be used to develop and test hypotheses.

  • Data are any pieces of information acquired through experimentation.

  • Observations often lead to questions or problems.

  • After you test a hypothesis, you should analyze your results and draw conclusions about whether your hypothesis was supported.

  • Communicating your findings allows others to verify your results or continue to investigate your problem.

  • A variable is a factor that can be changed in an experiment to determine its effect on the outcome.

  • Technology is the application of knowledge, tools, and materials to solve problems and accomplish tasks.

  • I.e. Computers, headphones, Internet,

  • light bulbs, toothbrushes, pencils


  • Building Scientific Knowledge of facts. Before anyone can truly understand scientific information, they must know how science works. Science does not prove anything absolutely -- all scientific ideas are open to revision in the light of new evidence. The process of science, therefore, involves making educated guesses (hypotheses) that are then rigorously and repeatedly tested.

  • A theory explains how and why something happens. A scientific theory is the result of many investigations and many hypotheses. Theories can be changed or modified by new evidence.

  • A law only states what happens. It is a summary of many experimental results and hypothesis that have been supported over time.


  • Using Models in Science of facts. Before anyone can truly understand scientific information, they must know how science works. Science does not prove anything absolutely -- all scientific ideas are open to revision in the light of new evidence. The process of science, therefore, involves making educated guesses (hypotheses) that are then rigorously and repeatedly tested.

  • The purpose of a model is to represent concepts or characteristics of objects that are difficult to see or hard to explain.

  • What is a model?

  • Scientific models are representations of objects or systems.

  • Models make difficult concepts easier to understand.

  • A model is never exactly like the original.

  • Make difficult concepts easier to understand.

  • Models Help You Visualize Information

  • Objects as Models

  • Must have characteristics of the original

  • i.e. spring toy as sound wave, globe as Earth

  • Ideas as Models

  • Can represent an explanation or idea

  • i.e. sugar dissolves in ice tea

  • Models Are Just The Right Size

  • Models can represent things too small to see or too large to observe directly. I.e. larger than real object: atoms, molecules; smaller than real object: rocket, weather map, model of solar system

  • Models Build Scientific Knowledge

  • Models can also be tools used to conduct investigations and illustrate theories.

  • Testing Hypotheses

  • I.e. aerodynamics of cars

  • Illustrating Theories

  • I.e. atomic theory

  • Models Can Save Time and Money

  • I.e. aerodynamics of cars


Quiz of facts. Before anyone can truly understand scientific information, they must know how science works. Science does not prove anything absolutely -- all scientific ideas are open to revision in the light of new evidence. The process of science, therefore, involves making educated guesses (hypotheses) that are then rigorously and repeatedly tested.

  • What is science?

  • Physical science is the study of?

  • The study of interactions of various types of matter is called?

  • The science concerning the study of energy and how it affects matter is called?

  • For a hypothesis to be valid, it must be?

  • The statement "Sheila has a stain on her shirt" is an example of?

  • A hypothesis is often developed out of?

  • A map of Seattle is an example of a?

  • Give an example of technology?

  • What is the relationship between an experiment and a hypothesis?

  • What is physical science all about?

  • What is a variable?

  • What is the purpose of a model?

  • Name five reasons for using models.

  • Give an example of a model used in science that is larger than the real object and an example of a model that is smaller than the real object.

  • What does SI stand for?

  • Name two safety rules of science.

  • List the standard SI unit used to measure each of the following properties of matter:

  • Length

  • Volume

  • Mass

  • Temperature

  • Which SI unit would you use to express the height of your desk?

  • Which SI unit would you use to express the volume of your textbook?

  • How is area different from volume?


What do these words mean? of facts. Before anyone can truly understand scientific information, they must know how science works. Science does not prove anything absolutely -- all scientific ideas are open to revision in the light of new evidence. The process of science, therefore, involves making educated guesses (hypotheses) that are then rigorously and repeatedly tested.

Observation

Fact

Law

Theory


http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/ of facts. Before anyone can truly understand scientific information, they must know how science works. Science does not prove anything absolutely -- all scientific ideas are open to revision in the light of new evidence. The process of science, therefore, involves making educated guesses (hypotheses) that are then rigorously and repeatedly tested.


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