Investigation and Experimentation
1. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other four strands, students should develop their own questions and perform
investigations. Students will:
a. Select and use appropriate tools and technology (such as computer-linked
probes, spreadsheets, and graphing calculators) to perform tests, collect data,
analyze relationships, and display data.
b. Identify and communicate sources of unavoidable experimental error.
c. Identify possible reasons for inconsistent results, such as sources of error or
d. Formulate explanations by using logic and evidence.
f. Distinguish between hypothesis and theory as scientific terms.
g. Recognize the usefulness and limitations of models and theories as scientific representations of reality.
i. Analyze the locations, sequences, or time intervals that are characteristic of
natural phenomena (e.g., succession of species in an ecosystem).
j. Recognize the issues of statistical variability and the need for controlled tests.
k. Recognize the cumulative nature of scientific evidence.
l. Analyze situations and solve problems that require combining and applying
concepts from more than one area of science.
m. Investigate a science-based societal issue by researching the literature, analyzing data, and communicating the findings. Examples of issues include irradiation of food, cloning of animals by somatic cell nuclear transfer, choice of energy sources, and land and water use decisions in California.
n. Know that when an observation does not agree with an accepted scientific
theory, the observation is sometimes mistaken or fraudulent (e.g., the Piltdown Man fossil or unidentified flying objects) and that the theory is sometimes wrong (e.g., the Ptolemaic model of the movement of the Sun, Moon, and planets).