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Nature of Science Activities for High School

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Helping your students understand what science is and how it works is a great way to get them thinking philosophically as well as scientifically. These activities will engage your high school students in thinking about the nature of science.

What is Science?

As high school teachers, it can be so easy for us to get caught up in making sure our students master material that we can forget to get them thinking about the bigger and more abiding questions behind what we teach. Yet it is by pondering precisely such deep and abstract questions that many students become more engaged in learning.

Teaching students about the nature of science means getting them involved in the question, 'What is science?' This is not a question that is easy to answer; in fact, there is potential for great controversy about how to answer this question. By thinking about it, students will strengthen their capacities as critical thinkers and contributors to new scientific bodies of knowledge. The activities presented here will help you get your high school students contemplating the nature of science.

Nature of Science Activities

Find Science Articles

One way to get your students thinking about the nature of science is to get them reading scientific articles and paying attention to what scientists are thinking about today. Ask each of your students to locate one science article in a newspaper, magazine, or online. Have students present their articles to their classmates, offering a summary of the purpose and content of the article. Then, ask your students to discuss the following questions:

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