What is Science?
• The word science comes from the Latin
"scientia," meaning knowledge.
• Science is the systematic and organized
inquiry into the natural world and its
• Science seeks to gain a deeper and often useful
understanding of our world.
• Science is useful in solving problems, though
sometimes the solution to one problem creates
• Science is always changing and advancing. Why?
• Because everyday scientists conduct new
experiments that discover things that had already
existed but we had no knowledge of because we
didn’t have the proper technology.
• As long as technology advances science will
What is Technology?
• Technology is the application (use) of
knowledge learned through scientific inquiry.
- synthetic fibers (i.e. nylon)
- genetic engineering
- nuclear Energy
Limits of Science
• Science cannot provide answers to every question.
• In order for science to solve a problem there must be
variables that can be observed, measured and tested.
• Some questions do not have these measurable variables
such as ethical/moral questions about what is good,
bad, right or wrong.
• Science is NOT religion though they sometimes seek
to answer similar questions…the quest for the answer is
obtained in a totally different way.
• Another limit of science would be biases or personal
opinions that could affect your observations.
● A researcher must always be objective when conducting
an experiment. In other words they must be open to all
outcomes and willing to test for all of these outcomes.
-ology = study of
• The scientific method IS what makes scientific
• It is a system or process of inquiry that
involves four primary stages:
4) Conclude and apply
• Identify the question you’d like to answer.
• Research previous work done on the topic
making sure that you will be able to make an
educated guess at the outcome.
• Your educated guess will be known as your
• A hypothesis is an educated guess (a prediction)
about the outcome of an experiment.
• It MUST be TESTABLE! Meaning that you must be
able to measure both variables.
• They are typically written as if/then statements:
If [I change this variable], then [this variable will do this].
Ex: If I raise the temperature of a cup of water, then
the amount of sugar that can be dissolved in it will be
• Design an experiment to test the hypothesis.
• The independent variable (manipulated) is
what the experimenter is changing.
• The dependent variable (responding) is the
variable that is responding to the change the
experimenter has made.
• A control group is maintained in which no
variables are changed. This demonstrates that a
change has in fact occurred as a result of the
change to the independent variable.
• All other factors in the experiment must be
constant (the same) to insure that the response
is due only to the change in the independent
Ex: All water should be from the same source in
the experiment to prove the example hypothesis.
• Observe and record data that result
from running the experiment.
• Data tables keep the data
• Quantitative data is favored in
science because it has a concrete
Ex: # of days, measurements
• Qualitative data is more subjective, relative, and usually
descriptive in nature.
Ex: subject 1 has a stronger odor than subject 2
Conclude and ApplyConclude and Apply
• Analyze results
– What caused the result?
• Draw conclusions
– What can we say about our experiment?
• Did it work?
• Did it fail?
– What can we do next time to make it work?
• Experiments supply us with scientifically verified facts.
• A theory is an explanation of commonly
observed natural phenomena based on
• Theories must be substantiated through multiple
• Science is limited by the available body of
knowledge; for this reason theories are not
concrete and can be and are often updated
and/or changed completely.
– Big Bang Theory
– Theory of Evolution
– Germ Theory of Disease
• When the observed phenomenon NEVER FAILS
the test, it becomes a law.
• Unlike a theory, a law doesn’t attempt to explain
how something works, it simply describes a
• Laws are overwhelmingly substantiated and
universally accepted as being true.
– Newton’s Laws of Motion
– The Doppler Effect
– Keppler’s Laws of Planetary Motion
Why do we measure things?
•to duplicate results of an experiment
•to accurately make comparisons
Measurements make our lives easier and we
measure things all the time.
•Shopping – What size shoe do you wear?
•Cooking – Can you easily duplicate a meal w/o a recipe?
•Deciding how warm to dress – Is 50̊F cold to you?
• Measurements have been used by humans nearly as long
as humans have been anatomically modern.
• Standardization is a hallmark of civilization and has been
handled in many different ways in the past.
• The use of a foot as a standard unit of measure is linked to
the ancient Greeks. The only problem is… is everyone’s
foot the same size? So is it truly standardized?
• The English solved this problem by using specifically the
• The French in 1790 took it a step further and created a
decimal (or base 10) system (like you use in math class) to
• In 1960 scientists agreed to one International System of
Units (abbreviated SI Units) which happens to be that
creation of the French and which you know as the metric
The things we measure most are:
All measurements require 2 things:
•A unit of measure
The Metric System
• The metric system uses a system of prefixes to
describe numbers of various sizes.
• This helps with comparisons which is one of our
main reasons for measuring things to begin with.
– 1000 kilograms is A LOT (literally a ton) but 1000 grams
is just 1 kilogram.
– Aaron and Noah wanted to have a contest to see which
of their paper airplanes could fly the longest distance.
Aaron's plane flew four meters. Noah's plane only flew
seventy-nine centimeters. How much further did Aaron's
Sometimes in order to compare two
quantities you need to convert the units:
• Mass is the amount of matter (stuff) in an object.
• The base unit for measuring mass is the gram*.
• The measuring device is a balance.
• One gram divided by 10 is a decigram.
• One gram divided by 100 is a centigram.
• One gram divided by 1000 is a milligram*.
• 10 grams is a Dekagram.
• 100 grams is a Hectogram.
• 1000 grams is a Kilogram*.
• Length is the distance between 2 points.
• The base unit for measuring length is the meter*.
• The measuring device is the meter stick or ruler.
• One meter divided by 10 is a decimeter.
• One meter divided by 100 is a centimeter*.
• One meter divided by 1000 is a millimeter*.
• 10 meters is a Dekameter.
• 100 meters is a Hectometer.
• 1000 meters is a Kilometer*.
• Volume is the amount of space the object
• The base unit for measuring volume is the liter*.
• The measuring device is a graduated cylinder.
• One liter divided by 10 is a deciliter.
• One liter divided by 100 is a centiliter.
• One liter divided by 1000 is a milliliter*.
• 10 liters is a Dekaliter.
• 100 liters is a Hectoliter.