Dr. Maureen Griffin and Dr. Danielle Gutelius came to CHA on Monday excited to start a new year of science with Cohen Hillel. After an introduction to our lab safety procedures, the scientists introduced the third and fourth graders to “The Nature of Science” using a puzzle exercise. We gave the students four puzzle pieces, representing scientific data, and asked them to fit the pieces into a square. After some struggle, all of the students were able to do it. But then there was an exciting discovery of new “data” in the form of a fifth puzzle piece! We then challenged the students to make a new square using all five puzzle pieces. This was a difficult challenge, but the students persevered and in the end, everyone succeeded.
This was a really fun activity where all of the students got a taste of what real scientific research is like. The completed puzzles represented scientific theory. A sound theory must account for all of the known data about something, so sometimes we have to change our theory – the completed square – in order to make it fit with new data!
We are so excited to be working with CHA again this year and look forward to our next visit!