Year 8 students have now been to 3 sessions of Science.
What: Below, photos are of students carrying out an experiment where they were required to observe closely a reaction between copper 2 oxide and sulfuric acid. You can see them gently heating the solution using a bunsen burner. The session following this one, students were testing their observational skills with the another solution (phenolphthalein indicator and calcuim metal), which required them to look closely and record the 5 observational changes.
Why: One of the science capabilities (skills that contribute to a functional knowledge of science) is to be able to make careful observations. Making careful observations of what is happening is a skill that many of our students are still developing. An example of the need to observe before (and often instead of) inferring was seen during this science session. One of the reactions of the solutions was that it bubbled furiously. Many students assumed/inferred it was "boiling". This was incorrect, the bubbles were actually a release of gas.
Observing closely is a skill that transfers across all of the curriculum including literacy - carefully reading to extract all meaning from the text and maths - making sure we know exactly what the question is asking.
When needed, do you take time to observe closely?
Have a look at our students observing closely: