What is Science? - Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 What Is Science?
  • 0:42 Making Observations
  • 1:21 Finding Proof
  • 2:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lindsy Frazer

Dr. Frazer has taught several college level Science courses and has a master's degree in Human Biology and a PhD in Library and Information Science.

When you hear the word 'science', you might just think of all the information in your science textbook. But science is more than just facts; it is a system. Learn what science is and how it can be used to find out about how the world works in this lesson.

What Is Science?

Why do bears have fur coats? Because they would look silly wearing jackets!

This is just a silly joke, but think about bears for a minute. Why do they have fur coats? Why do they hibernate in the winter? People answer questions like these ones about how the world works using science.

The process of science starts with a question, but science is more than just being curious about how things happen; it's a system of observations and experiments used to ask and answer questions about the natural world. Science is a way for us to gain knowledge about how and why things happen the way they do by using our senses to observe the world and experiments to investigate how it works.

Making Observations

Scientists observe the world around them and ask questions like 'What is this?' or 'How does this work?' Observations are not only used to come up with questions, but also to describe how and why things happen the way they do. We know a lot about the universe now because of scientific observation, such as the fact that the sun is over 300,000 times heavier than the earth and some meteors can travel as fast as 44 miles per second.

How long does it take a sunflower to grow? You could answer this question the scientific way by planting a sunflower seed and observing how many days it takes the seed to grow into a flower. Your observations will give you new knowledge about sunflowers and how they grow.

Finding Proof

Imagine that after your sunflower has grown, you notice that it gets taller after it rains. Why is that? Sometimes just observing the world cannot help you answer a question about how it works.

After scientists observe something interesting, they try to come up with a reason why it happens. This is when the investigative work of science starts. Anyone can come up with a reason why rain makes flowers grow faster, or why leaves change color in the fall, or why there are clouds in the sky, but how do you know the reason is correct?

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