Scientific Method and Principles
Suggested Academic Level: 11-12th grade regular track, honors track, or 100-level college course
Anticipated Time Required: 10 class periods or about 450 minutes, including unit test.
Previous Unit: Introduction to Environmental Science
Next Unit: Species and Populations Interactions
Vocabulary: Environmental science, interdisciplinary, renewable resources, nonrenewable resources, pollution, biodegradable, nondegradable, biodiversity, environmental ethics, anthropocentrist, pragmatic resource conservationist, aesthetic nature preservationist, Tragedy of the Commons, developed countries, developing countries, ecological footprint, sustainability.
- Differentiate between science and pseudoscience.
- Apply questions from Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit to examples of pseudoscience.
- Explain each of the steps of the scientific method.
- Define the parts of a controlled experiment.
- Identify the variable, control group, and experimental group in a given experiment.
- Create a bar graph, line graph, or pie graph when presented with a data set.
- Explain how bias is minimized research with blind and double-blind studies.
- Identify and label the parts of an atom.
- Explain the use of the pH scale in measuring acids and bases.
Discuss Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit.
Show video clip from Skeptic Magazine.Apply to the example of the Nirubu collision theory.
|25 minutes||Journal Writing Prompt on Nibiru (Planet X)|
Explain the concept of pseudoscience. Discuss multiple examples.
Explain the steps of the scientific method. Define each of the parts of an experiment.
Complete the “Spontaneous Generation and the Scientific Method” worksheet set.Show the “Who Gets Wetter?” segment from first episode of the first season of Mythbusters.
|75 minutes||Mythbusters: Who Gets Wetter? Worksheet|
|Data Collection||Complete the data collection activity worksheet.||30 minutes|
Minimizing Bias in Scientific Design
Define bias. Explain different experimental designs that seek to minimize bias.Show the Nova episode entitled “Secrets of the Psychics”. Students complete worksheet to accompany video.
Explain the concept of the atom as the basic building block of matter. Define each of the parts of an atom.
Show the Bill Nye the Science Guy episode on Atoms.Complete the Chemthink online tutorial and question set on the Particulate Nature of Matter.
|60 minutes||Chemthink Particulate Nature of Matter Worksheet|
|Acids, Bases, and pH||
Define acids and bases as measured by the pH scale.Students complete the acid rain and pH visualization lab.
|60 minutes||Acid Rain and pH Visualization Lab|
|Chapter Review||Students work on and review for the upcoming exam using the study guide.||30 minutes||Study Guide|