Engineering, Technology and Application of Science

The emphasis of this unit is on the skills a scientist needs in order to ask good questions, conduct an investigation and communicate results effectively. 

"The notion that there is a single scientific method of observation, hypothesis, deduction, and conclusion—a myth perpetuated to this day by many textbooks—is fundamentally wrong. Scientists do use deductive reasoning, but they also search for patterns, classify different objects, make generalizations from repeated observations, and engage in a process of making inferences as to what might be the best explanation. Thus the picture of scientific reasoning is richer, more complex, and more diverse than the image of a linear and unitary scientific method would suggest."— NRC Framework, p. 78

The lessons that follow provide support for many of the eight practices of science and engineering, including questioning, planning investigations, communicating results and more.  Care should be taken to emphasize the specific skills taught in these lessons, rather than perpetuate the idea that scientific discovery occurs as a fixed series of steps.  The handout link includes both  shorter and longer versions, which can be used based on time and ability level.

       Scientific Practices

and the Scientific Method    


Lesson 1, The Scientific Method

This is lesson 1 of an eleven part series on scientific practices.   Scientific investigations are often sparked by curiosity, which results in a question that can be answered using the scientific method.  Please emphasize that the steps are logical, but may vary depending on the nature of the question.   

Lesson 2, Observations and Inferences

A scientific investigation always begins with an observation. Lesson 2 dives into the differences between observations and inferences.

Lesson 3, Science and Technology

Lesson 3 explores the differences between scientists and engineers and how they work together to make our lives easier.

Lesson 4, Scientific Questions

A successful investigation begins with a good scientific question.  Find out how to write a good scientific question in lesson 4.

Lesson 5, How to Write a Hypothesis

There are a lot of parts to a well written hypothesis. Learn how to write an awesome hypothesis in lesson 5!​

Lesson 6, Variables

Lesson 6 introduces what variables are and how they may affect your investigation.​

Lesson 7, Types of Variables 

Lesson 7 examines the roles of controlled, manipulated and responding variables in an investigation.

Lesson 8, Writing a Procedure

Lesson 8 shows you what should be included in a clear and concise scientific procedure.​

Lesson 9, Data Tables

Lesson 9 provides you with the nuts and bolts for building the perfect data table

Lesson 10, How to Make a Graph

Certain key elements are part of every graph. Lesson 10 shows you what they are and how graphs are important for displaying your data.

Lesson 11, How to Write a Conclusion

Unit 1 wraps up by examining the key components of a good conclusion.