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Online Lessons for Teachers: Learning Evolution


What Is the Nature of Science?

Back to LESSON 1

Activity 1: Teacher Notes

Activity 2: What Killed the Dinosaurs?

Activity 2: Teacher Notes

Activity 3: Ancient Farmers of the Amazon

Activity 3: Teacher Notes

Materials You'll Need:
•  Science Survey form (pdf)

Activity 1: A Survey about Science

Now is your chance to find out what your friends and family members think about science. You will share information with your classmates to create a picture of your community's knowledge about and comfort level with science. By the end of this lesson, you will have a better understanding of what science is and isn't. This will form a strong basis for your study of evolution.



Print the Science Survey form (pdf), or use the form distributed by your teacher. Answer the questions without using reference materials.


Discuss and review your answers with your teacher before you conduct the survey with other people. You may want to refer to the online glossary or to chapters one and two of Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science by the National Academy Press.


Now conduct the survey in your community to find out what your friends, family, and neighbors think about science and scientists.


Ask at least five different people the questions in the survey. You need to get a variety of opinions, so choose people from different age groups and backgrounds (school friends, parents, relatives, neighbors, and teachers). Your teacher may assign the groups you are to survey.


Be prepared to discuss the following questions in class.


Describe the individuals sampled. How many participants were students? How many were adults? How many work in a science-related field?


How many people gave an accurate definition of science?


How many said they liked science?


How many had misconceptions about what a theory, a fact, or a law is?


How many people gave a scientific definition of evolution?


How many knew the difference between astrology and astronomy? Why is this significant in a discussion about the nature of science?


What misconceptions about science did you encounter in your survey results?


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