Level 2 Integrating EdTechs in Natural Science: The Scientific Method

2.1 Introduction to this Module

Module Focus

This module stands at the beginning of the scientific method. We know that the scientific method is neither linear nor perfectly predictable, but often dynamic, unpredictable and creative. However, the scientific method lends a structure to ongoing investigations and routes to raise new questions while answering old ones. It is this structure, combined with the processes and skills from CAPS page 11 / 12, that we follow in Modules 2 – 6.

Processes and skills we focus on in this module:

  • Accessing and recalling information
  • Observing and comparing
  • Sorting and classifying
  • Identifying problems and issues
  • Reading skills in the Natural Science class

Each module focuses on a different topic from CAPS. Module 2 focuses on Energy and Energy transfer.

CAPS Focus

What do these images have in common? Write your ideas in the space below.

Check your answers by clicking on the names of inventors on the right to find out what they did.

Alexander Fleming

Alexander Fleming, the Scottish biologist, physician, microbiologist and pharmacologist, is well known for his careful observation skills. He is best-known for discovering the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and benzylpenicillin (Penicillin G) in 1928. After returning from holiday, he found that fungi had started growing in some of his petri dishes. More importantly, he observed that where the fungi grew, it destroyed the colonies of staphylococci bacteria surrounding it, effectively killing the bacteria. He later said of this:

One sometimes finds, what one is not looking for. When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I suppose that was exactly what I did.

Alexander Fleming

Art Fry & Spencer Silver

Art Fry and Spencer Silver’s careful observation and problem identification skills led to the development of the Post-It Note. Spencer Silver developed the low-tack adhesive that would only stick where they were tangent to a given surface, meaning the grip was weak enough to allow papers to be pulled apart but strong enough to hold it together. No one seemed to see a use for this technology until Art Fry, one of Spencer’s colleagues, was particularly frustrated by his many choir notes flying around during a church sermon. It struck him that a little of Spencer’s glue would be just perfect to solve the problem and the Post-It Note was born! Another example of how careful observation skills can solve real-world problems.

Jules Janssen & Norman Lockyer

Jules Jansen observed the different wavelengths of elements in the solar spectrum during a solar eclipse in Guntur, India on the 18 August 1868. He noticed a bright yellow line in the spectrum of the chromosphere of the sun. On the 20 October that same year, Norman Lockyer observed the same yellow line in the solar spectrum. The element helium was later named after the Greek word for the sun, helios, and is another example of the excellent observation skills of scientists.

The spectral lines of helium

Mark this unit as complete then move on to the next unit.

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