Science Objectives for the Older Kids—the Scientific Method

Why are we learning this?  Last year, some of the students had a unit on the scientific method of investigating various theories in science.  Many of the kids understood the steps, and could tell them to the teacher, but had a very hard time putting them into practice. With the future goal of a science fair, we want to start the year with some simple scientific principles that will help tremendously as we move forward in science this year. We want to emphasize how many ways the scientific method could help in solving many problems outside the field of science. Thinking logically and working through the steps can become a problem-solving method that will serve everyone well.

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What are the objectives?

**The student will be able to illustrate and annotate the scientific steps to testing out a simple theory.

**The student will be able to identify the steps and how they were used in articles found in a magazine or newspaper.

**The student will be able to define the terms used in the scientific steps and will be able to use those words in a sentence.

**After seeing exhibits in a museum, the students will be able to outline what procedures the scientists used to identify and solve a problem.

**The students will discover that many science articles in popular reading material may not be accurate or may be based on false premises.

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What activities go with the objectives and point values are assigned to each part?

  1. Everyone will create a poster that illustrates a simple hypothesis and works through the steps—mostly created in class—Can receive up to 25 points on this.
  2. Everyone will read 5 science articles and fill out an abstract form on each. Each form is worth up to 5 points.
  3. The students will create individual flashcards with the science terms on the front and the definitions on the back to work toward an entire card file of vocabulary terms that will be useful all year.—Each card is worth 3 points.
  4. Using cameras, the students will record a museum exhibit either at Fernbank Natural History Museum or at Gwinnett’s Heritage Center and will write a brief page on what the scientist was going for, in trying this experiment. This can be worth 25 points.
  5. Everyone will analyze some articles in class to see how accurate and well-thought out the article’s ideas are. Each written paragraph on an article is worth 3.5 points.

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Grading system—between 90 and 100 points is an A

Between 80 and 89 is a B

Between 72 and 79 is a C  Almost no one could get below that as there is always room for additional work to pull up the points. So, additional abstracts could earn extra points, or a student can approach me with an extra-credit project to get a higher point score.