Using the Scientific Process to Conquer Smallpox
We can examine natural phenomena and address wicked problems using the scientific process. The smallpox virus emerged approximately 10,000 years ago, and the virus's global spread devastated civilizations. Thanks to the scientific thinking of a Buddhist nun, a milkmaid, and Edward Jenner, smallpox was declared eradicated in 1979 by the World Health Organization.
To support the understanding of the nature of science in the NGSS (Appendix H), session participants will engage in activities that demonstrate how science is used to answer questions about the natural world through a process that is consistent, observational, natural, predictable, tentative, and testable. Additionally, participants will examine various media sources to learn how to identify scientific misinformation and the tactics used to make misinformation appear credible.
The National Center for Science Education supports science teachers through free professional development and curriculum to recognize and address science misconceptions using the three dimensions of the NGSS.
Takeaways: This session introduces participants to a basic understanding of the scientific process, how our knowledge of the natural world evolves with new evidence, and that science cannot answer questions that do not pertain to natural processes. Attendees will take a deep dive into an NGSS storyline sequence developed to help students understand that science is an ongoing process that must be supported by multiple lines of evidence to be accepted by the scientific community.
Lin Andrews (National Center for Science Education: Oakland, CA), DeeDee Wright (Colorado State University: Fort Collins, CO), Cari Herndon (District of Columbia Public Schools: Washington, DC), Blake Touchet , Ayesha Alirahi (Science Teacher: , 0)