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The Science Senses

Author(s): Kelly O'Donnell

Science Forward

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This video introduces the common thread that runs through the Science Forward course: Sciences Sense.

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 24 Jul 2018 doi:10.25334/Q4FH8K - cite this


 Science Sense is a set of skills that scientists and scientific thinkers possess that allows them to question and evaluate information presented as scientific. These skills include interpreting graphs, making evidence based arguments, designing experiments, and more. The skills fall under three categories: Number Sense, Data Sense, and Knowledge Sense.

Science Senses: The three main categories are mentioned and examples of each are given. This is not a complete listing of all of the Science Sense Skills.

Number Sense

  • Having a sense of scale
  • Making a back of the envelope estimate

Data Sense

  • Collecting data and recognizing patterns

Knowledge Sense

  • Asking scientific questions
  • Applying scientific knowledge
  • Having an open mind

Classroom Ideas:

  • Have students work in groups to try to list as many skills in each of the categories as they can before showing them the list or the syllabus. What skills do they already know scientists possess? Which don’t they think of? Are these skills useful anywhere else?

Possible Readings:

  • Chapter 3: The Nature of Science from White and Dennin. 2008. Science Appreciation: Introduction to Science Literacy. OER

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