SCIENCE EDUCATION CLASS 1
Scientific practices involve a wide range of activities in scienceprojects that aim to prove a hypothesis or validity of a giventheory. For many years, scientific methods have been used to proveexisting theories, while refuting some. It has made it possible forscientists to make major scientific milestones that no one knew itwould be done. In this paper, we shall reflect on various scientificpractices such as asking questions, investigations, data analysis andinterpretation.
1.Definition of scientific practices.
Asking questions: It is a scientific method that involves probing andinterrogating a given theory or hypothesis to gain more informationabout it (Pratt, 2013). Asking questions means defining a problem, orinquiring about data, claims and proposed decisions.
Planning and carrying out investigations: it involves the variousactions that are taken to describe a phenomenon, test a hypothesis ortheory, or establish how a given model works (Pratt, 2013).Investigations are often carried out to generate data or provideevidence to support a given claim about a specific phenomenon.
Analyzing and interpreting data: it is the process of creatingmeaning from data collected during qualitative research, and thenapplying the processed information to the problems that are presentedby the client (Pratt, 2013). The analyzed and interpreted data canalso be used as evidence for supporting established conclusions.
2.Application of the three scientific practices during the laboratoryactivities.
In the scientific laboratory setting, the three methods were usefulin the following ways:
Asking questions: Asking questions in the laboratory isparamount especially when one is making an observation, for instance,I inquired on certain features of the observed phenomenon (Pratt,2013). In a chemical and physical changes lab I asked questionsabout texts/procedures for a given experiments for clarification orfor gathering additional information concerning the investigation(Pratt, 2013). This is because chemical reactions can be dangerousand procedures are required questions were also important when I wasdrawing a conclusion about a certain observation, for instance,changes in chemical color, changes in smell, or rather when I wasdefining a problem that needs to be solved, for example, the chemicalcomposition and nature of subliming substances.
Planning and carrying out investigations: This practice wasalso very crucial for me in the measurement and uncertaintylaboratory. I could find the method useful especially when I wascarrying out measurements of time, length, weight among others. I wasable to make accurate measurement and record the required data(Duschl & Bybee, 2014), for instance, when using a VernierCaliper, I was able to comfortably make readings from the Vernier andestablish the uncertainty from the scale, which was less than 0.1mm.The reading on the scale was 7.5mm, so I indicated 7.5mm ± 0.1 mm.Investigations were useful for building confidence in me, forinstance, it gave me the ability read and interpret a wide variety ofscales. It also increased my levels of precision in reading andrecording measurement data (Duschl, & Bybee, 2014).
Analyzing and interpreting data: Analysis and datainterpretation were useful in the molecular geometry laboratory, forit allowed me to make inferences in a given investigation then makeinterpretation (Pratt, 2013). Analysis and presentation also helpedin ensuring that the lab results were organized and that modelscreated were specific to a given study. It also allowed me to makeconclusions about the data collected once I analyzed and interpreted,for instance, when establishing the molecular structure of a givencompound (Pratt, 2013). It was also useful in finding out therelevance of data and ways which I used as evidence.
3.Application of the scientific practices in the classroom setting
In a typical classroom setting, the three scientific practices can beuseful, in everyday learning. When a lecturer is making apresentation on a given topic, for instance, genetics, allowing me toask questions during the lecture would help me understand the topic,more deeply it clarifies where there was difficulty inunderstanding, as well as assist in creating summaries of the subject(Pratt, 2013). Involving me actively in class, by assigning me topicsto research about is one way of achieving effective learning.Organizing me into a group with other students and assigning ustopics is part of the initial planning process, and then carrying outresearch on the subject is the investigatory part. This allows me tobe very creative, and it widens my scope of teaching (Pratt, 2013).The act of asking me to make the presentation on my findings of theassigned topic tests my analysis and data interpretation skills. Ittests how organized I am, my understanding on the subject, and myabilities to draw effective conclusions about the topic (Pratt,2013).
In conclusion, the scientific methods of asking questions, planningand conducting investigations, and analysis and interpretation ofdata is very critical in both laboratory and classroom settings. Theyare valuable in widening my scope of learning, and also in validatingthe various scientific theories and hypothesis.
Duschl, R. A., & Bybee, R. W. (2014). Planning and carryingout investigations: an entry to learning and to teacher professionaldevelopment around NGSS science and engineering practices.International Journal of STEM education, 1(1), 12.
Pratt, H. (2013). The NSTA Reader`s Guide to a Framework for K-12Science. NSTA Press.