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 steps of the Scientific Method and learned how to write a great hypothesis, test it, and rework it until their observations 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. We finished up by talking about why many types of scientists also use models in their studies to help explain a phenomenon. Students got to experience firsthand the challenges of undergoing scientific investigations and how it often requires persistence to continuously revise hypotheses until you create a working a model. It can be tough at first, but many of the students can tell you how exciting it is to finally unearth the secret! On a final note, we also briefly discussed the recent discovery on Mars…water! There just might be tiny bacteria called microorganisms living on another planet!