Scientific thinking for HSC science extension

Scientists have a unique way of seeing the world. They challenge assumptions, push the boundaries of human knowledge and find solutions to the big problems. The next generation of scientists are need to solve global challenges such as cancer and age related diseases, global warming, alternative power supplies and scaling agriculture for a growing population. Learning scientific thinking will allow you to become a change maker – someone who matters.

Science is comprised of the sum of humanities scientific understanding. Science has been a tool used by and added to by humans for millions of years. Science’s aim is to describe the entire nature of reality. This is a dynamic understanding which can be lead by technology

Module 1: The foundation of scientific Thinking

Science has four main concepts; scientific laws, theories, hypothesis and observation – one of these can not develop into another they are separate entities. However, these are all integral parts of the scientific method. The scientific method is the process through which new laws, theories, hypothesis and observations can be added, removed or replaced into our scientific understanding. Science is dynamic and the discovery 

Scientific Laws are a description of a particular phenomenon, a scientific law does not explain phenomena rather it describes it. These are not absolute and can be replaced by new observations. For example, Newton’s law of universal gravitation:

Scientific Theories are in-depth explanation of a particular phenomenon, these can also be replaced and improved but are the widely accepted explanation for a phenomenon. These must-have passed the rigour of scientific testing. For example; Einstein’s theory of general relativity, collision theory, the theory of plate tectonics and theory of natural selection.

Scientific Hypothesis is a falsifiable idea or proposition to explain/ predict a certain phenomena which is less in-depth than a theory which can be tested. This can not be proved correct, however, evidence can be found which failed to disprove it. For example;  the Michelson-Morley experiment hypothesised the speed of light would be different depending on the direction of the ether wind

Scientific Observations relate to the knowledge regarding the nature of reality derived by our senses. The epistemological view of scientific observation will be investigated further later on. For example; when the ball was dropped it accelerated towards the earth.

Absolute Truths remain the same over time and no matter where you are in the universe. There are very few absolute truths that exist in science. For example, a square never as round corners

What will science extension have in store for you?

You will study the current state of science and how you will hopefully by the end of the year have contributed a new piece of research to grow it. Science is the progression of idea’s to attempt to explain the nature of reality.

The goal is always to build a deeper understanding of the world and our place in it. This allows for the practical application of ideas in order to solve real world problems.

Scientific thinking next generation insect robot

Return to our open access science extension textbook


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