Presentation on theme: "Scientific Theory and Scientific Law"— Presentation transcript:
1 Scientific Theory and Scientific Law Why do we need both?Lesson 1
2 Instructions for use of Scientific Theory and Scientific Law Activity Objective: The main goal of this activity is to clarify to students that science terms often have different meanings than their meanings in general conversation. In science, a theory is NOT a stop on the way to becoming a law. This is a very common misconception outside the scientific community.Time needed : 50 minute periodProcedure: This activity will work well when teaching the scientific method in any science course. After introducing the steps of the scientific method (or reacquainting as the case may be), pass out the blank Venn diagram on Scientific Theory and Scientific Law.Review the premise of a Venn diagram, explaining that statements that only apply to a Scientific Theory should be listed in the far left circle, statements that only apply to a Scientific Law should be listed in the far right circle, and statements that are true for both Scientific Theories and Scientific Laws should be listed in the center area on the diagram. For a younger group of students, it would be helpful to tell students that each statement will be used only once and that there are 5 statements that will be common to both Scientific Theories and Scientific Laws.Have students take their sheet with them to the computer lab and let them “Google” resources to help them complete their diagram. It should only take students minutes to find information they need to complete the diagram.When back in the classroom, allow students 5 minutes to share with their “neighbors” why they put statements where they did and allow them to make changes if they become convinced by their peer’s arguments.Teach the difference between these two terms using the attached PPT file then pass out a blank diagram for them to complete while you model the correct diagram for them (on the board, overhead…)Assessment: For homework, have students write a complete paragraph comparing and contrasting a Scientific Theory and Scientific Law.
3 Scientific Theory and Scientific Law Chemistry and Physics have more of theseExplains how nature worksBiology has more of theseTested hypothesisDescribes what nature does under certain conditions (usually with a mathematical formula)Supported by large amount of dataScientific TheoryBoth Theory and LawScientific LawHelps unify a field of studyCan be modified if even 1 peer-reviewed experiment produces data showing disagreementWidely accepted by a vast majority (if not all) scientists within a discipline
4 Scientific Theory and Scientific Law (Answer Key)Both Theory and LawScientific TheoryScientificLaw1) Tested hypothesis2) Supported by large amount of data1) Chemistry and Physics have more of these1) Biology has more of these3) Helps unify a field of study2) Describes what nature does under certain conditions (usually with a mathematical formula)2) Explains how nature works4) Can be modified if even 1 peer-reviewed experiment produces data showing disagreement5) Widely accepted by a vast majority (if not all) scientists within a discipline
5 Scientific Theory and Scientific Law Both Theory and LawScientific Law
6 Scientific Theory and Scientific Law Why do we need both?
7 Scientific MethodOrganized and careful method that scientists use figure things out about natureExperiment process never really endsThe conclusion (whether it ends in a description of how or a statement of what) can be changed when further experimentation shows changes should be made
8 Scientific Theory and Scientific Law The field of biology has more scientific theories that result from research.The fields of chemistry and physics have more scientific laws that result from research.Cell TheoryCharles’s Law:V1/T1 = V2/T2Evolutionary Theory
9 Scientific Theory and Scientific Law Scientific Theory usually describes a phenomenon seen in nature.Scientific Law usually explains how a process works under a given set of conditions with a mathematical formula.BOTH are proven true through continuous experimentation!New cells form from existing cellsForce is the product of anobject’s mass and acceleration
10 Question: Is this a scientific theory or a scientific law? Mass can come from energy and energy from mass (E= mc2)The speed of light in a vacuum is constant and an absolute physical boundary for motionIs this a scientific theory or a scientific law?Scientific LAWIs this a scientific theory or a scientific law?Part of the THEORY of relativity
11 Is a scientific theory or a scientific law more correct? Question:Is a scientific theory or a scientific law more correct?Trick question! Both are equally proven to be true through continuous experimentation.