Scientific investigations may take many different forms, including observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments.
Learning Goal 2a
Because we expect science investigations that are done the same way to produce the same results, when they do not, it is important to try to figure out why.
Learning Goal 2b
One reason for following directions carefully and for keeping records of one's work is to provide information on what might have caused differences in investigations.
Learning Goal 3a
Scientists' explanations about what happens in the world come partly from what they observe, partly from what they think.
Learning Goal 3bc
Sometimes scientists have different explanations for the same set of observations. That usually leads to their making more observations to resolve the differences.
Learning Goal 4
Scientists do not pay much attention to claims about how something they know about works unless the claims are backed up with evidence that can be confirmed, along with a logical argument.
For Grades: 6-8
Learning Goal 1a
Scientists differ greatly in what phenomena they study and how they go about their work.
Learning Goal 1b
Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
Learning Goal 2ab
If more than one variable changes at the same time in an experiment, the outcome of the experiment may not be clearly attributable to any one variable. It may not always be possible to prevent outside variables from influencing an investigation (or even to identify all of the variables).
Learning Goal 2c
Collaboration among investigators can often lead to research designs that are able to deal with situations where it is not possible to control all of the variables.
Learning Goal 3ab
What people expect to observe often affects what they actually do observe. Strong beliefs about what should happen in particular circumstances can prevent them from detecting other results.
Learning Goal 3cd
Scientists know about the danger of prior expectations to objectivity and take steps to try and avoid it when designing investigations and examining data. One safeguard is to have different investigators conduct independent studies of the same questions.