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Critical thinking assignment

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The nature of science. Students will work in a pair to research and answer one of the following questions:

a) Is the Earth flat (2D) or spherical? (3D)

what arguments did people make for the Earth being flat? what evidence did they bring forth? what arguments did people make for the Earth being spherical? and what evidence did they bring forth? Evidence is just a set of facts – we can’t draw conclusions unless we make logical connections between them. Explain their reasoning (how people reached their conclusion.)

You will need to look up additional resources in our school library, the city library, or on the internet. Here are 2 sources to help you get started. Within these sources you can find other sources to cite.

http://www.popsci.com/10-ways-you-can-prove-earth-is-round

https://kaiserscience.wordpress.com/physics/gravity/prove-that-the-earth-is-a-sphere/

b) Is the Earth thousands of years old, or billions of years old?

points to address: what arguments did people make for the Earth being thousands of years old? what evidence did they present? what arguments did people make for the Earth being billions of years old? what evidence did they present? Evidence is just a set of facts – we can’t draw conclusions unless we make logical connections between them. Explain their reasoning (how people reached their conclusion.)

You will need to look up additional resources in our school library, the city library, or on the internet. Here are 2 sources to help you get started. Within these sources you can find other sources to cite.

Half life of atoms: Using radioactive decay like a clock

https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/radioactive-dating-game

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dating.html

earth-science-volcanoes-339345-1280x1024

c) Is the Earth the center of our solar system, or is the Sun?

points to address: what is a star? what is a planet? what arguments did people make for the Earth being the center of our solar system? what evidence did they present? what arguments did people make for the our Sun being the center of our solar system – and what evidence did they present? Evidence is just a set of facts – we can’t draw conclusions unless we make logical connections between them. Explain their reasoning (how people reached their conclusion.)

You will need to look up additional resources in our school library, the city library, or on the internet. Here are 3 sources to help you get started. Within these sources you can find other sources to cite.

https://kaiserscience.wordpress.com/earth-science/astronomy/early-views-of-the-solar-system/

https://kaiserscience.wordpress.com/earth-science/astronomy/medieval-to-modern-views-of-the-solar-system/

https://kaiserscience.wordpress.com/earth-science/astronomy/solar-system-the-modern-view/

malin-christersson-heliocentrism-vs-geocentrism

d) Are all elements stable, forever, or do some atoms change into other others?

points to address: what is an “element”? How do elements differ from each other? Where do elements originally come from? How specifically did we discover that some elements change: what evidence did they have? Evidence is just a set of facts – we can’t draw conclusions unless we make logical connections between them. Explain their reasoning (how people reached their conclusion.)

First you need to be sure that you know what atoms and elements are! (These introductory websites don’t count as sources for your paper)

http://www.chem4kids.com/files/elem_intro.html

What is an Atom -Basics for Kids

Bill Nye The Science Guy – S05E08 – Atoms

Nuclear chemistry (KaiserScience)

You will need to look up additional resources in our school library, the city library, or on the internet. Here are 2 sources to help you get started. Within these sources you can find other sources to cite.

https://kaiserscience.wordpress.com/physics/modern-physics/nuclear-physics-and-radioactivity/

Half life of atoms: Using radioactive decay like a clock

https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/radioactive-dating-game

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Writing your paper

It will be: typed, spell-checked, grammar-checked, doubled spaced, 12 point font, 1″ margins. No cover page.  The upper left of the 1st page will include the name of you and your partner, my name, your block, and a title.  The paper will be 5 pages long.

Part I – on science in general

1. Explain the difference between a claim that is, and isn’t, peer-reviewed

Peer review: 2 articles, with infographics

Scrutinizing science: Peer review

In search of quality: The scientific peer review process

2. Explain the difference between Fact, Opinion, Belief, and Prejudice

https://kaiserscience.wordpress.com/biology-the-living-environment/evolution/

 3. Science answer questions about things that are “natural” – what does this mean? Science also has limits: What are topics that science doesn’t answer a question about?

http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/natural

http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/whatisscience_12

Part II – on your chosen topic.

4. Obtain 5 science-based sources on your topic. Cite the sources using MLA standards.

5. Summarize what science has learned on your topic.

6. Don’t just list measurements or facts. Explain how the data leads to the conclusion. Look at the grading rubric to see what is expected. Paper will be handed in on time by 1/23/17. Worth 100 points. Lose 5 points/day for late papers, including weekends and holidays.  Grading rubric

Learning Standards

2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards

Students will be able to:

* plan and conduct an investigation, including deciding on the types, amount, and accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements, and consider limitations on the precision of the data
* apply scientific reasoning, theory, and/or models to link evidence to the claims and assess the extent to which the reasoning and data support the explanation or conclusion;
* respectfully provide and/or receive critiques on scientific arguments by probing reasoning and evidence and challenging ideas and conclusions, and determining what additional information is required to solve contradictions
* evaluate the validity and reliability of and/or synthesize multiple claims, methods, and/or designs that appear in scientific and technical texts or media, verifying the data when possible.
A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (2012)
Implementation: Curriculum, Instruction, Teacher Development, and Assessment
“Through discussion and reflection, students can come to realize that scientific inquiry embodies a set of values. These values include respect for the importance of logical thinking, precision, open-mindedness, objectivity, skepticism, and a requirement for transparent research procedures and honest reporting of findings.”
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