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published by the University of California Museum of Paleontology
supported by the National Science Foundation
This web site was developed to provide an accessible, fun, and free resource that accurately communicates what science is and how it works. It was designed to help learners of all ages "re-engage" with science and appreciate the dynamic, exciting nature of the scientific process, and the human motivations that underlie it.

It includes interactive tutorials on the process of science, classroom resources for teachers, and a do-it-yourself guide on how to design a fair experiment.

Please note that this resource requires Flash.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Research Design & Methodology
General Physics
- Collections
= Informal Education
- Philosophy
- High School
- Middle School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Informal Education
- Collection
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Curriculum support
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
= Tutorial
- Audio/Visual
= Illustration
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- New teachers
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text/html
application/flash
application/pdf
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Free access
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© 2010 University of California Museum of Paleontology, 2010, .
Keywords:
evidence, evidence-based, experiment, experimental design, experimental hypothesis, experimental validity, fair test, hypothesis, peer review, replicable, replicable research, research design, research question, research validity, scientific data, scientific evidence, scientific hypothesis, scientific method
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created May 14, 2010 by Bruce Mason
Record Updated:
May 29, 2011 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 3, 2010
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

1. The Nature of Science

1A. The Scientific Worldview
  • 6-8: 1A/M2. Scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories and as a new theory leads to looking at old observations in a new way.
1B. Scientific Inquiry
  • 9-12: 1B/H2. Hypotheses are widely used in science for choosing what data to pay attention to and what additional data to seek, and for guiding the interpretation of the data (both new and previously available).
1C. The Scientific Enterprise
  • 6-8: 1C/M3. No matter who does science and mathematics or invents things, or when or where they do it, the knowledge and technology that result can eventually become available to everyone in the world.
  • 6-8: 1C/M7. Accurate record-keeping, openness, and replication are essential for maintaining an investigator's credibility with other scientists and society.
  • 9-12: 1C/H1. The early Egyptian, Greek, Chinese, Hindu, and Arabic cultures are responsible for many scientific and mathematical ideas and technological inventions. Modern science is based on traditions of thought that came together in Europe about 500 years ago. People from all cultures now contribute to that tradition.

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (1993 Version)

1. THE NATURE OF SCIENCE

B. Scientific Inquiry
  • 1B (6-8) #2.  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 of the variables. It may not always be possible to prevent outside variables from influencing the outcome of an investigation (or even to identify all of the variables), but collaboration among investigators can often lead to research designs that are able to deal with such situations.
  • 1B (6-8) #4.  New ideas in science sometimes spring from unexpected findings, and they usually lead to new investigations.
  • 1B (9-12) #4.  There are different traditions in science about what is investigated and how, but they all have in common certain basic beliefs about the value of evidence, logic, and good arguments. And there is agreement that progress in all fields of science depends on intelligence, hard work, imagination, and even chance.
  • 1B (9-12) #6.  In the short run, new ideas that do not mesh well with mainstream ideas in science often encounter vigorous criticism. In the long run, theories are judged by how they fit with other theories, the range of observations they explain, how well they explain observations, and how effective they are in predicting new findings.

This resource is part of 3 Physics Front Topical Units.


Topic: History and Philosophy of Physics
Unit Title: The Scientific Process

Even the best students often miss out on the excitement, curiosity, inspiration, and passion that characterize scientific endeavor. This is a great interactive tutorial that takes the user from the seeds of an initial idea through hypothesis, control of variables, data collection, and communication of ideas. Kids will get a feel for the fluid, dynamic nature of science as they learn the language of the scientific process. Teachers: look for the related lesson plans and printable wall posters.

Link to Unit:

Topic: Digital Collections: Physics and Physical Science
Unit Title: The Scientific Process

If you are concerned that your students may be missing the excitement, curiosity, inspiration, and passion that characterize the scientific endeavor, this web site is a must-see. You will find a great interactive tutorial taking an initial idea through hypothesis, control of variables, data collection, and communication of ideas. Kids will get a feel for the very fluid and dynamic nature of science as they learn the language of the scientific process. Teachers: look for the related lesson plans and printable wall posters.

Link to Unit:

Topic: Digital Collections: Physics and Physical Science
Unit Title: The Scientific Process

Textbooks can never really convey the intensely human nature of the scientific enterprise, leaving students with little appreciation for the passion and excitement that often accompany the scientific process. This web site provides teachers and learners with activities designed to help them re-engage with science, as they learn about how to develop a sound hypothesis, collect data, and communicate their findings.

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
(University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, 2010), WWW Document, (http://undsci.berkeley.edu/index.php).
AJP/PRST-PER
Understanding Science: How Science Really Works (University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, 2010), <http://undsci.berkeley.edu/index.php>.
APA Format
Understanding Science: How Science Really Works. (2010, January 3). Retrieved August 27, 2014, from University of California Museum of Paleontology: http://undsci.berkeley.edu/index.php
Chicago Format
National Science Foundation. Understanding Science: How Science Really Works. Berkeley: University of California Museum of Paleontology, January 3, 2010. http://undsci.berkeley.edu/index.php (accessed 27 August 2014).
MLA Format
Understanding Science: How Science Really Works. Berkeley: University of California Museum of Paleontology, 2010. 3 Jan. 2010. National Science Foundation. 27 Aug. 2014 <http://undsci.berkeley.edu/index.php>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Understanding Science: How Science Really Works}, Publisher = {University of California Museum of Paleontology}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {27 August 2014}, Month = {January 3, 2010}, Year = {2010} }
Refer Export Format

%T Understanding Science: How Science Really Works
%D January 3, 2010
%I University of California Museum of Paleontology
%C Berkeley
%U http://undsci.berkeley.edu/index.php
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D January 3, 2010
%T Understanding Science: How Science Really Works
%I University of California Museum of Paleontology
%V 2014
%N 27 August 2014
%8 January 3, 2010
%9 text/html
%U http://undsci.berkeley.edu/index.php


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