here we are at the gateway! Learning about our fellow Fellows and looking at science exploration.
to be set up, for example, using flour to model impact craters on the Moon.
Electronic models can show sequences and processes, and some can be found on the Internet,
for example, Day and Night: Views from the Southern Hemisphere and Open Heart.
For information about the learning challenges of models see Teaching with models .
This method involves observing and recording natural events, or carrying out experiments
where the variables can’t easily be controlled.
In pattern seeking, it is still important to note and record variables. The investigator needs to
try to identify patterns that result from these variables.
This method is well suited to system sciences like geology, astronomy, ecology, or
Once a pattern has been observed this may lead to other investigations in an effort to try to
explain why a particular pattern occurs, and to a classifying and identifying system.
Pattern seeking can also help us create models to explain observations, for example, to
explain the phases of the Moon.
Researching involves gathering and analysing other people’s opinions or scientific findings
in order to answer a question or to provide background information to help explain observed
Research can also show how scientists’ ideas have changed over time as new evidence has
Students need to practice each stage in the research process.
Stage 1: Focusing and planning
Questions relevant to the direction of the research are generated.
Stage 2: Sourcing information
Appropriate resources must be found. Using a range of different sources of information helps
ensure the ideas are those commonly accepted.
Stage 3: Analysis
The information needs to be organised and then analysed to ensure that valid conclusions can
Stage 4: Reporting
Finally the research must be reported. This can be done in various ways – for example a
demonstration, a poster, a video or a report.
Reference: Ministry of Education. (2001). Making better sense of the living world.
Wellington: Learning Media.