SCIENCE LAB IN THE CLASSROOM 5

ScienceLab in the Classroom

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ScienceLab in the Classroom

Scientificpractice refers to the classroom activities that are used to describeknowledge, skills, and demonstrate how to complete learningactivities. They help the learners to formulate questions, defineproblems, and to construct models that represent developed ideas(Metz, 2016). This paper reflected.Someof the important scientific practices such as creating explanations,mathematics and computational thinking.

Definitionof the Scientific Practices

Constructionof explanations refers to the process of linking observations andtheories. Science attempts to explain the causes of various phenomenathrough the construction of explanations on varied scientificconcepts and theories (Metz, 2016). On the other hand, mathematicsand computational thinking refers to the process of constructingsimulations, analyzing statistical data, and predicting the behaviorof variables (Metz, 2016).

ClassroomActivities on the Application of the Science Practices

Thegiven scientific practices were applied during learning in a varietyof ways. Firstly, the construction of explanations was used to teachstudents on lifestyle diseases such as diabetics. The teacher askedthe students a question on lifestyle diseases. Among the questionsthat the teacher asked was: are there other risk factors leading tothe development of type II diabetes? The students completed theassignment by constructing explanations and by first developingevidence and support to the scientific claims (Gilbert et al 2016).This activity showed that the construction of explanations was animportant scientific practice in the learning process. Through thequestions, the students learnt how to find evidence, support claims,and give reasons through the constructed explanations.

Secondly,the teacher gave students assignments which required them to applymathematical concepts by creating relationships among differentvariables using scientific theories. For example, in Hooke’s lawthe mathematical expression F = ke was used to create a connectionbetween the applied force and spring extension. The students applieddifferent mathematical concepts to summarize such scientifictheories. The students also used computational thinking to illustratehow Hooke`s law could be applied in real life situations. This wasdone by using the mathematical representation of Hooke`s law, F = kewhere F stands for the amount of force acting on the spring innewton’s, K is the spring constant, and e is the extension on thespring in centimeters to calculate the missing variable.

Thestudents also applied computer programs such as excel to performmathematical computations. The teacher introduced physics conceptsusing experiments in the laboratory by tasking the students with theexamination of the properties of a pendulum. The students wereassisted by the teacher in taking data such as the length andfrequency of the pendulum. The teacher then discussed with them someof the mathematical and computational methods.

Examplesof How the Scientific Practices Were Applied in the Laboratory

Inpractical lessons where students were experimenting on thedevelopment of a better airbag, mathematical concepts wereimplemented through calculating the moles present in the carbon gaswhich was used to fill the airbag explanations were also given onhow the airbags was activated in the automobiles. In an experiment toobtain the polarity of a solvent by using its freezing point, themathematical concepts were applied in calculating the molality of thesolute. The students explained how the ions present in the solutionwere dissociated. Buffered solutions are those that do not allowchanges in their pH, during the experiment, the researchers gave outexplanations on how buffered solution were prepared. TheHenderson-Hasselbalch equation was then used to calculate the pH ofthe buffered solution. In the experiment to determine the mostreactive metals, the students were able explained why some metals aremore reactive than others. The mass of the metals displaced duringthe displacement reaction were then calculated. The change ofequilibrium position in a chemical solution was explained using Lechatalliers principle, the amount of heat that was absorbed orreleased during the process was then calculated. In the quantitativesynthesis of aspirin, an explanation was given on how to extractsalicylic acid from willow bark, the molarity of the acetic acid tobe used was then calculated before being measured.

Conclusion

Basingon what has been discussed in this paper, the two scientificpractices are imperative in learning. This is because they facilitatethe students` ability to construct systematic explanations usingevidence, models, and knowledge of many scientific concepts. Creatingillustrations, using mathematical models, and computational thinkingalso enables the students to build on their experiences and tounderstand various concepts in science subjects.

References

Gilbert,A., Bloomquist, D., & Czerniak, C. M. (2016). *UsingMathematical and Computational Thinking in Early Grades ScienceClassrooms*:The Need for High‐QualityProfessional Development. School Science and Mathematics, 116(4),175-176.

Metz,S. (2016). *Constructingexplanations and designing solutions*.The Science Teacher, 83(1), 6.