The Scientific Revolution was an incredible time for anyone interested in Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Astronomy. Science really became a subject and no longer relied on myth and magic for explanations. Credence was given to some pretty weighty issues and astronomy was a major force in shaping the thoughts of early followers of science.
When the talented linguist and academic Nicolaus Copernicus published his conclusions that the Earth was not the center of our Universe there were numerous gasps of astonishment. Without realizing it, Copernicus had set the scientific world ablaze. "How?" and "Why?" became the new buzzwords of his time.
From there on, man's inquisitiveness and education has accelerated our ability to understand the world around us. Science teachers today carry on the great legacy handed to them by the likes of Copernicus, Gallileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie and plenty more besides. Allowing children to develop a sense of curiosity and encouraging them to ask questions helps to guide enquiring minds towards becoming the next set of great scientists.
An article in The New York Times refers to a study published in the journal Science. The study focused on two groups of students participating in introductory physics classes who ordinarily were taught in a lecture-hall environment. During the 12th week of term, one group was then taught in collaborative classes which involved groups of students actively engaged in discussion. When it came to answering questions about electro-magnetic waves the results of the two groups were analyzed.
The group involved in collaborative discussion learning, where the teachers were on hand to listen to the students group discussions, correct misconceptions and offer guidance when needed, did better than the group solely based in the lecture hall. In essence the study appeared to say that allowing students to discuss in groups and develop ideas amongst themselves seemed to strengthen their ability to think and learn.
Hands-on science experiments and discussion lead groups are probably no different to what was going on during the Scientific Revolution. A strong foundation of knowledge has already been laid by earlier pioneers of science but there will always be ‘How?’ and ‘Why?” questions to be asked and plenty of opportunity to Think.
- What is the Universe made of?
- How are memories stored and retrieved?
- Do clouds have a role in global warming?
- Will humans ever land on Mars?
- What happened before the Big Bang?
- How far can we extend the human lifespan?
- Why is Earth the only planet to sustain life?
- When will Earth be hit by another big asteroid?
- How will we feed Earth's growing human population?
- What will we we use for fuel in the future?
What are the best science classes you've been involved with? What science questions do you have? Get in touch by leaving a comment below.