The Science Process Skills
The Science Process Skills are the skills or tools scientists use to investigate the world around them. The skills are also used to construct science concepts, discover new ideas, or to prove or disprove theories. The following are some basic science process skills every scientist needs to know. The process skills are not used in any specific order. The best scientists use all of the tools available to them.
Observation is using the five senses (seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting) to identify or learn about an object or event. An example may include watching a goldfish to see if it swims in a certain pattern, or testing certain food items to identify the flavor.
Inferring means to form an idea from facts or the observations that are made. Continuing to use the goldfish as an example, a scientist may infer that a goldfish is ready to eat when it begins to swim in a specific pattern.
Classifying is placing things together that share the same properties into a group. While tasting different food items a scientist could group the salty, sweet, and sour into three separate groups.
A scientist would use measuring to find size, distance, area, volume, weight, temperature, mass, or weight of an object or event. While studying the goldfish the temperature of the water is taken to discover if it has any effect on the swimming patterns of the goldfish.
Communication is very important for scientists. They use effective communication to share information with others who may want to repeat an experiment or observation. Sharing the information about the taste of food could help change a recipe.
Prediction is stating the possible results of an event, idea, or experiment. The scientist may predict what a goldfish would do if it had to swim in cold water. While watching the fish the scientist may write down the information to discover if the prediction came true.
Interpreting data means gathering all of the information about an event, object, or experiment and use it to answer questions or solve problems. Gathering all of the information about the different tastes of food may solve why some people do not eat certain foods.
Using variables means to identify things in an experiment that either can be changed or controlled. In the example, the scientist might identify the size of the fish bowl, source of water, or time of day as a variable that can be changed or controlled.
Hypothesizing is one of the most used tools for a scientist. It is making a statement that can be tested to answer a question. After the different goldfish observations, a hypothesis could be: Goldfish will swim in different patterns depending on the temperature of the water. The hypothesis could then be tested by other scientists and proved or disproved.
The science process skills are important tools for scientists. Some of the other process skills include experimenting, using numbers, making models, and recording conclusions and results. The science process skills are the basic tools scientists use to investigate the objects and events in the world and throughout the universe.
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