Scientific Processes and Lesson Plan on Catapults

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Module 1 Science Processes

Scientific ProcessDefinitionScience Activity
ObservingThe process of gathering information using all appropriate senses instruments that extend the senses. Collecting data on classmates, students walk around the classroom and make observations about eye and hair color of their classmates. ClassifyingGrouping objects or organisms according to one or more common properties.Classifying plants by features of plant life. CommunicatingRecord observations in multiple ways and present them to others.Students can record the data found in their observation activity and communicate the eye and hair colors they observed in the classroom. MeasuringMeasure variables using a variety of instruments and standard and nonstandard units.Give students various measuring tools and ask them to measure various things in the classroom. PredictingMake a projection of what the outcome of an investigation will be using data and patterns.Prediction worksheet: look at the pictures on the left side, draw a picture and write about what you predict will happen next. InferringDescribing a potential conclusion based on observation and prior knowledge.Science Mystery Bags: Students are asked to use sense of smell, hearing, and touch to infer what is in each mystery bag. Identifying & Controlling VariablesRecognizing a system’s variables and manipulating the variables to control the system’s outcome. Bread Mold Activity: Students will identify and control the variables that cause bread mold. Formulating & Testing Hypotheses Make a statement to guide and investigation. Test that statement for its truth.Formulate hypotheses for what conditions cause the bread to mold, and then test the hypotheses to see if they are correct. Interpreting DataRecognize patterns and associations within a system of data. Using scientific graphs to share data, as well as understand data represented in graph form. Defining OperationallyCreating a definition by describing an interaction or observation.How can you tell if plants are healthy? Students will define plant health in effective terms.

Experimenting
Scientific procedure used to test a hypothesis, make a discovery, or determine something. Students can take part in an experiment to see if they can balance eggs using salt. Constructing ModelsBuilding models to represent a mental, verbal, or physical idea or object.Students could participate in a physical science project where they are asked to make a water reservoir.

In the chart above defining the twelve scientific processes, I included definitions of each as well as a science activity that students could participate in to support each process. These processes support inquiry learning, because they provide students with the opportunity to use problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, and logical thinking skills all at once. Students are encouraged to apply their prior knowledge to their new problem, experiment, or questions, which incorporates what they are currently learning with earlier experiences. Inquiry learning in science gives students control of their investigation and enhances their interest in the subject. Inquiry learning involves all learning strategies, including but not limited to verbal, written, and hands-on activities. When students are actively engaged in the learning process they are more likely to stay attentive, which allows them to not only gain information, but also helps in retaining that knowledge and understanding.

The teacher’s attitude toward science has a major impact on students and how they view science. In order for teachers to get students interested and involved, they must have a positive and inspiring outlook on the subject. When students see and feel that their teacher is excited about a subject and that he or she wants to share their experience, students are more likely to fully engage in learning. Teachers should share their knowledge by motivating...
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