The Five Features of Science Inquiry: How Do You Know?
Science inquiry is asking questions and gathering evidence to explore scientific phenomena. It’s a central component of the scientific method, and it helps students develop critical thinking skills and a deep understanding of scientific concepts. Five key features of science inquiry help students understand how scientists know what they know.
1. Asking questions. Science inquiry starts with asking questions about a phenomenon. This can be a question about how something works, why something happens, or what happens under certain conditions. This is the first step in the scientific method, and it helps students focus their attention on the topic they want to explore.
2. Gathering evidence. After asking questions, students must gather evidence to support their claims. This can involve conducting experiments, making observations, or analyzing data. Evidence is key to scientific inquiry, as it helps students draw conclusions and make decisions based on the data they have collected.
3. Making predictions. Students can predict what they expect to see or find based on their questions and evidence. This helps them focus their inquiry and provides a basis for comparison when they analyze their results.
4. Testing predictions. The next step in scientific inquiry is to test the predictions made in step 3. This can involve conducting experiments, analyzing data, or making observations. The results of these tests help students determine if their predictions were correct and, if not, what they need to do to refine their understanding.
5. Concluding. The final step in scientific inquiry is to draw conclusions based on the evidence and results obtained. This helps students understand what they have learned and how it fits into their worldview.
Science inquiry is an important part of the scientific method that helps students understand how scientists know what they know. Students can develop critical thinking skills and a deep understanding of scientific concepts by focusing on the five key features of science inquiry—asking questions, gathering evidence, making predictions, testing predictions, and concluding. Encouraging students to engage in science inquiry can help them become lifelong learners and critical thinkers.