Can you solve the mystery of the tubes?

Scientific Observation: Mystery Tubes

Today students learned that to become a good scientist, you have to make specific and detailed observations so other people will understand what you have found or tested. We introduced the concept of building and using prototypes and learned how to write a great hypothesis, test it, and rework it until their prototype matched their hypothesis.

For our activity, students had to make observations about what was happening in a sealed PVC ‘mystery tube’ without being able to see inside. Once they made their observations and wrote a hypothesis to explain what they observed, they worked in groups to build their own working models of the mystery tube. It took a few tries, but we had two groups come up with different, yet correct, prototypes! We finished up by talking about why many types of scientists also work in teams and use models in their studies to help explain a phenomenon. Another important lesson for the day was that in science it is very rare to ever actually see the “correct” answer to a question! We can only make educated guesses and improve upon them as we learn more information about the problem.

This lesson was exciting, very challenging and great fun to complete.

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