The Nature of Science

  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!

2014-10-06 10.54.05 2014-10-06 10.53.38 2014-10-06 11.18.09

Author

Dr. Maureen Griffin

Maureen earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. While at Penn, she developed a novel micro-mechanical technique called micropipette peeling to investigate the role of muscle cell adhesion in normal and diseased skeletal muscle cells. After graduating, Maureen worked full time as a post-doctoral researcher and then a staff scientist a SelectX Pharmaceuticals. She joined the teaching staff in 2008 and was excited to be made an executive staff member in 2009. Maureen also continued to consult part time for SelectX until her daughter's birth in 2009; now she is focused on Science from Scientists and, of course, her children. Maureen uses her spare time to read, blog, cook, and renovate her house.

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