What is Science? • We are going to be studying science all year long! Take a moment and write down on your paper in several sentences what you think science is. • Be Prepared to share your answers with the class
What is Science? • Science: A way of learning about the natural world through observation and logical reasoning. • Is there only one accurate definition for science?
Who are Scientists? • Can you think of any jobs that use scientific skills? • According to our definition any job that uses observation and reasoning uses science skills. • Jobs could include Doctors, Nurses, Lawyers, Teachers, Astronauts, Politicians, and about any job you can think of that requires thinking.
Thinking Skills that Scientists Use • Observing: Using one or more of your senses to gather information. • Inferring: When you explain or interpret the things you observe you are making an inference. • Predicting: Making a forecast of what will happen in the future based on past experience or evidence.
Thinking Skills that Scientists Use • Classifying: Process of grouping together items that are alike in some way • Comparing: Examining different ideas or items to note similarities or differences. • Generalize: Looking for trends or patterns from facts, statistics, or observations.
Scientific Method • Scientists have designed a formal way of thinking about various problems called the scientific method. • Scientific Method is one way scientists use to solve problems, it is not the only way. • If the scientific method is not followed step by step you are still using science.
Part One of the Scientific Method • State the Problem: This is usually done when you are making observations or thinking about how to solve a specific predicament. • An example of this could be your sitting down to watch American Idol on TV and you go to have some delicious Cool Ranch Doritos but they are stale. NOOOOOOO!!!!!
Part Two of the Scientific Method • Observation: Use your senses to examine the problem. What is causing the problem and why. • Back to our Doritos example you might want to observe the chips take them out look at them smell them. You might want to taste another one to make sure that they are all stale.
Part Three of the Scientific Method • Make a Hypothesis: A hypothesis is a possible explanation for a set of observations or answer to a scientific question. • Back to our Doritos example, a hypothesis could be that the bag was left open for too long thus causing our chips to taste nasty.
Part Four of the Scientific Method • Experiment or test your Hypothesis: An experiment is a test under controlled conditions that is made to demonstrate a known truth, or examine the validity of a hypothesis. • How could we test our Doritos problem?
Procedures for Experimenting • Variables are factors that can change (vary) in your experiments. • For example you could test the variable of temperature with our Doritos example. You could put Doritos in different temperature ranges to test them. • Variables must be controlled so you can pinpoint what is causing the problem
Part Five of the Scientific Method • Collect , Analyze, and Interpret Data: This is where you look specifically at what your results are. You can graph out results to see what is causing or influencing your problem. Interpreting or analyzing results is a way of looking at what factors are causing your problems. These factors might not be what you originally hypothesized.
Part Six of the Scientific Method • Drawing Conclusions: Scientists draw conclusions by examining the data from the experiment. • A conclusion is the result or outcome of an act or process. • At the end of the process you can state that your hypothesis was either proven true or false. • Often times scientists will redesign experiments after viewing their conclusions to test new hypotheses.
Part Seven of the Scientific Method • Share Your Results: Scientists are constantly learning and changing their ideas of how the world works. Sharing your discoveries is an important part of the process. • Imagine if someone was able to cure cancer and did not share their results. • A big reason science is always changing is because of new technology.
Scientific Theory vs. Scientific Law • Scientific Theory is a well tested explanation for a wide range of observations and experimental results. Theories can be changed with new scientific evidence. Science is constantly changing. • Scientific Law is a statement that describes what scientists expect to happen every time under a set of particular conditions. Example: If you drop a bowling ball from a building it will fall down. This is the law of gravity.
Observation vs. Inference • An observation is something you actually see or hear and know to be true. • An inference is a guess about what you are observing. • Different examples of inferences vs. observations.