Exploration Science: A case history from Earth orbit by: Paul D. Lowman, Jr.

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

The intent of this case history is to encourage science fair organizers to permit students to submit observational science projects, not just experimental ones. The author shares a condensed example of his own research to illustrate the interplay of observation, problem recognition, and hypothesis testing.

Grades
  • High
Publication Date
10/1/2002

Community ActivitySaved in 19 Libraries

Reviews (3)
  • on Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:24 PM

The author did an excellent job explaining how observational studies can lead to interesting scientific discoveries. He also makes a plea to teachers to make sure they include observational studies and not just experiments when teaching students the nature of science. He gives several suggestions that would be appropriate for not only middle school studies, but also freshmen and sophomores in high school.

Ruth Lehmann Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Lehmann Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:29 PM

The author makes a plea to those who do science fair projects to encourage students to consider doing observational studies as well as empirical ones. He provides an example from his own background of how he discovered a discrepancy on a map of fault movement from a photograph and then walks through the experience of proving his hypothesis. Nice example of how good observations can lead to new knowledge AND on how earth science works.

Tina Harris  (Bloomington, IN)
Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN)

  • on Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:14 PM

The article was informative. However, an idea came to me regarding using the map on page 9 as a means of demonstrating the surface of the Earth by wrapping that map around the globe. The students may get a better understanding that a map is a representation of the Earth's surface.

Tommy Jerome Baxter  (Fairbanks, AK)
Tommy Jerome Baxter (Fairbanks, AK)


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