Thinking Like a Scientist
School of the Future, Manhattan
Summer Research Program for Science Teachers
Subject: Living Environment (Biology)
Grade Level: 9th or 10th
What does it mean to think like a scientist?
What is a testable question?
What makes a good hypothesis and experiment to test it?
Materials: For each group of 4 students:
Termites (one package of 50 or more should be enough for at least 3 or 4 classes – termites can be purchased from Carolina Biological Supply)
Papermate pens (red, blue and black ink)
pens (red, blue and black ink)
Bic pens (red, blue and black ink)
Day 1 - 45 minutes
Have students read and discuss the following scenario:
are a scientist, and you were working late last night.
You drew a diagram in different colors of ink, and it looked similar to
the drawing on the board. While you
were writing and drawing the diagram in your notebook, you nodded off.
Students should brainstorm and develop at least 3 questions and record them on your looseleaf.HINT: Make a list of all of the variables (in other words, factors) that could be affecting the behavior of the termite. Then use your list to create a list of questions such as “How does _________ affect the behavior of the termite?”
Day 2 – 45 minutes
Answer all of the following questions to the best of your ability in COMPLETE SENTENCES. Explain yourself and be specific.
Write a paragraph about scientific thinking using all of the following terms:
explanation evidence prediction logic questions observations
Explain whether you agree or disagree with each of the following statements:
- Scientists observe without making any judgments; scientific observations are objective and bias free.
- If two scientists run the same experiment and have similar observations, they will develop the same explanation for the results.
New York State Science Standards:
Standard 1: - Scientific Inquiry
National Science Standards:
Science Content Standard A: - Science as inquiry