TIP #4 - Nature of Science: Scientific Knowledge is Open to Revision with New Evidence
Things Aren't Always As They Seem
Things aren’t always as they seem as the Indian parable, The Blind Men and the Elephant, demonstrates. The process is similar with the accumulation and evolution of scientific knowledge.
As we are able to make more and more direct observations, we develop a better overall picture of a given concept or phenomenon. For example, new fossil discoveries in Antarctica are changing what we know about the geological and biological history of that continent--humorously illustrated by paleontologist Brandon Peecook when he said, "The more we find out about prehistoric Antarctica, the weirder it is."
New developments in scientific understanding aren’t limited to just the past. In the last decade alone, we have made significant advances in our understanding of the universe—e.g., the composition of planets in our solar system and black holes—and the structure of matter to more accurately measure things such as mass, current, and temperature, and in biology where discoveries are fueling new ways to fight cancer and diseases. Each of these giant steps forward in understanding was preceded by countless experiments and observations, as well as a general open-mindedness to developing new hypothesis and, ultimately, new conclusions.
The CreositySpace approach
So how does CreositySpace bring this concept into the elementary classroom—when there are already plenty of facts students need to learn? CreositySpace highlights both the past and the future!
In addition to highlighting one or more cutting-edge technologies in every CreositySpace unit, and how the entrepreneurs and scientists behind those technologies use new information and discoveries to change what we know and do, each unit contains a Technology Historical Timeline. This timeline illustrates how changes in our understanding of a certain topic have gotten us to where we are today. With these concrete examples of past, present, and future, students can connect the things they are learning to the bigger, and more nebulous, concept of Scientific Knowledge.
For example, the timeline pictured below--from the Contagion Crushers unit--illustrates some key steps the progression of our understanding around illness, germs and community health.
Image on the left: Colleen Costello is the co-founder of Vital Vio and featured entrepreneur in Contagion Crushers. They have developed a disinfectant lighting technology that kills bacteria but is safe for humans. The technology is already being used in schools and hospitals.