Think Like a Scientist

View the weekly class calendar
Spring classes start the week of January 28 and end the week of May 10.


Instructor: Madeline Goodwin
5-10 students
Suggested Age Ranges: 12+ years old
Meets: Wednesdays at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Pacific time


Science is a bunch of really cool discoveries… right? But how were those discoveries made? What do scientists do, and how do they do it?

After they do their work, we learn about it, but how is that information communicated? We’ll learn about the scientific method, utilize the process of inquiry, explore real-life scientific fields, practice science communication, and discover how we interact with science in our daily lives. Students will form hypotheses, perform experiments, write about their findings, and present them to the class. In the process, we’ll learn to think like scientists in our everyday lives while building confidence in communication!

Prerequisites: None


Week 1: Introduction - Become acquainted with one another and the course materials

Week 2: The Scientific Method - Follow the scientific method and process of inquiry to understand how scientists learn about the world

Week 3: Forming A Hypothesis - Understand the “if… then…” mode of thinking and learn to create a testable hypothesis

Week 4: Qualitative Experiments - Explore the quantifiable (measureable) ways scientists test their hypotheses

Week 5: Qualitative Experiments - Explore the qualitative (observation-based) ways scientists test their hypotheses

Week 6: Gathering & Interpreting Results - Examine the different ways scientists gather data and interpret their results

Week 7: Language of Science - Learn to interpret the language used in scientific writing and translate it into “plain English”.

Week 8: BREAK

Week 9: Fields of Science - Discover the many different fields of science and how they relate to and differ from each other

Week 10: Communicating Science - Discover the challenges of communicating scientific research and uncertainty to the general public, and learn

Week 11: Interacting with Science - Understand some of the many ways we interact with science in our everyday lives

Week 12: Applications - Learn about the diverse applications of scientific research in technology and engineering

Week 13: Science policy - Find out how scientific research is regulated, and how science is used in policy and regulations

Week 14: Scientific uncertainties - Question the certainties science seems to present, and ask the questions scientists haven’t found answers to... yet.

Week 15: Catch-up, Questions, & Review - Bring your questions to class and review the material; get help with your final project; and catch up on anything we missed.

Week 16: Student presentations - It’s your turn! Present your final project in whatever form it may take.


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