The Workshop

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” - Aristotle

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” – Aristotle (384–322 BC)

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) is reported to have once wrote or said:

“Talent hits the target no one else can hit; genius hits the target no one else can see.”

To that Schopenhauer quote, however, a good friend of mine smartly added the following insightful addendum: “And patient, hard work improves your aim.” In other words, finding success and/or great satisfaction in life’s most challenging endeavors can often be the result of something over which we each have a reasonable amount of total control–that is, the amount of time that we spend practicing something.

It is in sympathy with this general spirit that this particular section of the blogsite, The Workshop, was designed. Dr. Merritt is a firm believer in practicing all facets of science with great frequency, and this includes tasks that are both more and less demanding. Please use the categories and links below as opportunities to spend some concentrated time learning and practicing the many important facets of scientific work.


[Expect each of the entries below to be fully updated by September 2017]

NAMING


click-here-to-enter-buttonNaming is one of the most fundamental scientific practices. In this section of the workshop, you can practice naming the equipment, instruments, apparatus, and safety symbols most commonly found in scientific offices, laboratories, and field stations. You can also practice naming the elements found within the periodic table, as well some of the basic molecules that form when certain elements join/bond together. Finally, you can naming different objects of interest to scientists, both living or once living (e.g., animals and plants) and non-living (e.g., rocks and clouds). To get started, click the red button at right.

ASKING


According to the Next Generation Science Standards, asking questions is one of the “eight practices of science and engineering […] essential for all students to learn.”

In this section of the workshop, you can practice asking questions…

To get started, click the red button at right.

DEFINING


According to the Next Generation Science Standards, defining problems is one of the “eight practices of science and engineering […] essential for all students to learn.”

In this section of the workshop, you can not only practice defining problems, but you can also practice defining…

– Terms; variables (operationally)…

To get started, click the red button at right.

COLLECTING


click-here-to-enter-buttonMuch of science involves collecting specimens for study. A specimen can be defined as an individual (animal, plant, piece of a mineral, etc.) to be used as an example–or sample–of its species or type for scientific study or display. In this section of the workshop, you can practice gathering specimens to make your own scientific collections. To get started, click the red button at right.

PRESERVING


click-here-to-enter-buttonWhat do scientists do with the specimens they collect? One answer is that they work hard to conserve or preserve them. In the case of living organisms, this could mean that scientists try to keep them alive. In the case of once-living organisms, this could mean they they try to keep them from decomposing. In the case of non-living things, this could mean protecting their specimens from destructive forces such as wind, light, heat, and/or rain. In this section of the workshop, you can practice preserving specimens for your scientific collections. To get started, click the red button at right.

OBSERVING


In this section of the workshop, you can practice…

To get started, click the red button at right.

DESCRIBING


In this section of the workshop, you can practice…

To get started, click the red button at right.

IDENTIFYING


In this section of the workshop, you can practice…

To get started, click the red button at right.

MEASURING


In this section of the workshop, you can practice…

To get started, click the red button at right.

COMPARING


In this section of the workshop, you can practice…

To get started, click the red button at right.

CONSTRUCTING


According to the Next Generation Science Standards, constructing explanations is one of the “eight practices of science and engineering […] essential for all students to learn.”

In this section of the workshop, you can not only practice constructing explanations, but you can also practice constructing…

– Hypotheses and predictions; tables, graphs, and other data visualizations

To get started, click the red button at right.

ANALYZING & INTERPRETING


According to the Next Generation Science Standards, analyzing and interpreting data is one of the “eight practices of science and engineering […] essential for all students to learn.”

In this section of the workshop, you can practice…

To get started, click the red button at right.

SUMMARIZING


In this section of the workshop, you can practice…

To get started, click the red button at right.

DESIGNING


According to the Next Generation Science Standards, designing solutions to solve engineering problems is one of the “eight practices of science and engineering […] essential for all students to learn.”

In this section of the workshop, you can practice…

To get started, click the red button at right.

INVESTIGATING


According to the Next Generation Science Standards, planning and carrying out investigations to answer scientific questions is one of the “eight practices of science and engineering […] essential for all students to learn.”

In this section of the workshop, you can practice planning and carrying out four different types of scientific investigations:

– descriptive
– comparative
– experimental
– modelling

To get started, click the red button at right.

INFERRING


In this section of the workshop, you can practice…

To get started, click the red button at right.

ARGUING


According to the Next Generation Science Standards, arguing from evidence is one of the “eight practices of science and engineering […] essential for all students to learn.”

In this section of the workshop, you can practice…

To get started, click the red button at right.

PERSUADING


In this section of the workshop, you can practice…

To get started, click the red button at right.

OBTAINING, EVALUATING, & COMMUNICATING


According to the Next Generation Science Standards, obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information is one of the “eight practices of science and engineering […] essential for all students to learn.”

In this section of the workshop, you can practice…

To get started, click the red button at right.

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