Discuss the value of studying the natural sciences for everyone, not just scientists. Why might it be important for individuals and society to understand the science related to current events and contemporary issues?
Consider a recent event, either in your personal life or in the news. In a few sentences, describe how basic knowledge of natural science could help you better understand that event, make decisions, or act.
Visit the website Science Daily and choose a natural science–related news story published within the past six months. You will use this news story throughout this course to complete activities and project work. You can find a news story by browsing the articles on the homepage, or you can enter a keyword (such as “earthquakes,” “cancer,” or “black holes”) into the search bar.
To ensure your article is appropriately focused on the natural sciences and suited for this project, review the questions below. Please note that these questions are not the graded portion of the assignment. They are simply to help you choose an appropriate news story.
Was your news story published within the last six months?
Is your news story related to living organisms or systems of the natural world? This may include the following topics:
zoology (the study of animals)
botany (the study of plants)
cellular biology (the study of the cell)
anatomy (the study of body structures)
geology (the study of the earth)
meteorology (the study of the atmosphere, weather, and climate)oceanography
oceanography (the study of oceans)
astronomy (the study of the universe)
geophysics (the physics of the earth)
astrophysics (the physics of the universe)
atmospheric (a branch of meteorology)
biochemistry (the chemistry of life)
geochemistry (the chemistry of geological systems)
Does your news story report on the process of conducting scientific research, mentioning elements of the scientific method such as hypotheses, observation, field research, experiments, lab research, computer modeling, or data collection?
If you cannot answer “yes” to the questions above, or you are unsure how to answer the questions, consider reaching out to your instructor for additional guidance.
After you find a story that interests you and meets the criteria above, answer the questions in the Module One Activity Template Word Document that is uploaded below.
What do you think motivates scientists to ask, “Why?” In other words, what inspires scientists to pursue their research? Include specific examples to support your response.
With your response to Question 1 in mind, reflect on why you selected your news story. Respond to the following question: What was it about the news story that interested you or made you curious?
To complete this activity, use the Module Two Activity Template Word Document that is downloaded below. First, examine your scientific news story for descriptions of how the research was conducted. This might be a general description of steps the scientists took, or the specific methods used to collect and analyze evidence. Look for words associated with the scientific method such as observations, hypothesis, field research, experiments, lab research, or data collection.
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