Ms. Wiandt's Science Class
For Agriculture, Chemistry, and Physics
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Just what is science? To get some idea, just take a look around you. What do you see? A computer screen, your hand on the mouse, paper, pencils, sun shining through a window, maybe even a tree outside... In one sense, science is our understanding of all that stuff, all the matter and energy in the natural world. From the functioning of metal and semiconductors in your computer's circuit board, to the nuclear reactions powering the massive ball of gas and plasma that is our sun, and how that tree is able to use energy from that nuclear reaction to grow.
Sound cool yet? Well science gets even cooler, because science isn't just about knowing things about the natural world. Even more importantly it is a systematic way of thinking and learning about natural world. Science relies on testing ideas with evidence gathered from the natural world. So our wonderful natural curiosity can be satisfied through science. Why is the sky blue and why does it turn orange at sunset and sunrise? How does the wind blow? why can you see water in a glass if water, glass and air are all clear? Through science we can answer all these questions without saying "a wizard did it!" or other magical means.
Science is complex and multi-faceted, but the most important characteristics of science are straightforward:
Science focuses exclusively on the natural world, and does not address supernatural explanations.
Scientists work in many different ways, but all science relies on testing ideas by determining what expectations an idea creates and making observations to find out whether those expectations hold true.
Accepted scientific ideas are reliable because they have been subjected to rigorous testing, but as new evidence is acquired and new perspectives emerge these ideas can be revised.
Science is the endeavor of a diverse community, and relies on a system of checks and balances to help ensure science moves in the direction of greater accuracy and understanding.