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ARTICLE

Describing the nature of science

When trying to describe the nature of science, it can be useful to think of science as a culture in just the same way that we think of the cultural worlds of art and music. We need to understand ...

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ARTICLE

Nature of science – introduction

The nature of science is the overarching and unifying strand in the New Zealand science curriculum document. Our nature of science articles on the Science Learning Hub unpacks this strand and ...

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ARTICLE

Solids, liquids and gases

Water is the only common substance that is naturally found as a solid, liquid or gas. Solids, liquids and gases are known as states of matter. Before we look at why things are called solids ...

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Melting and freezing

Water can exist as a solid (ice), liquid (water) or gas (vapour or gas). Adding heat can cause ice (a solid) to melt to form water (a liquid). Removing heat causes water (a liquid) to freeze to ...

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ARTICLE

The role of observation in science

Observation is something we often do instinctively. Observation helps us decide whether it’s safe to cross the road and helps to determine if cupcakes are ready to come out of the oven ...

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Viscosity

If you poured some water down a slope, it would flow freely and quickly, but what about if you repeated the process with honey? Can you imagine how honey would flow down a slope? Sticky oozy ...

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Light and telescopes

The universe is full of amazing things, but we need help to see most of them. There are many types of light that our eyes cannot see, so we use instruments, such as telescopes, that can detect ...

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Myths of the nature of science

People have ideas about science based on personal experiences, previous education, popular media and peer culture. Many of these ideas are commonly held misconceptions or myths about the nature ...

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ACTIVITY

Observation and the mystery box

In this activity, students determine the contents of a ‘mystery’ box by making observations but without opening it, and parallels are drawn between this activity and aspects of the nature of ...

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Reasons for teaching the nature of science

Why teach the nature of science? The short answer is that the curriculum requires it and research supports it. These are compelling reasons. The curriculum requires it Accurately conveying the ...

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Tenets of the nature of science

Sometimes we assume that students will learn about the nature of science just by doing scientific investigations. This is no more valid than assuming a student will learn about photosynthesis by ...

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ACTIVITY

Build a marine food web

In this activity, students build their own food web using images of organisms from the marine ecosystem. This activity can be done indoors on paper or outdoors on a tarmac surface using chalk. By ...

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Distances in space

Distances in space are really, really big. The Voyager 1 spacecraft is heading out of our Solar System at 62,000 km per hour, but even at that speed, it would take it 77,000 years to reach the ...

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ACTIVITY

The extra piece

In this activity, students assemble a tangram as a square and then reassemble the tangram incorporating an additional piece they are given. Parallels are drawn to particular aspects of the nature ...

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Plasmas explained

We happily live in the Earth’s gaseous lower atmosphere composed of a mixture of gases – primarily nitrogen and oxygen. However, if we move upwards from the Earth’s surface, the environment ...

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Nanometres and nanoscale

A nanometre is a billionth of a metre. Nanoscale can refer to things less than 100 nanometres in size, or to materials so small that they behave differently to normal. What is a nanometre? Your ...

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Bioplastics

Bioplastics are plastic materials that are either biodegradable or derived from renewable resources or both. Currently, petrochemical-based plastics make up 99% of the plastics market. However ...

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ARTICLE

Sir Isaac Newton

Born in England in 1643, Sir Isaac Newton could easily have ended up as a farmer instead of becoming one of the world’s greatest scientific minds. When his mother tried to convince him to become ...

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