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Think like a scientist: Track 1

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Learn to think like a scientist. In this collection we demonstrate a series of hands-on experiments that you can carry out in your own kitchen. We'll explore some key aspects of life on Earth such as why water is so important to all living organisms, how matter behaves at different temperatures and what are the best conditions for life to flourish. The experiments start off simply, with baking a potato to destruction, but by the end you will be isolating and extracting the DNA of a kiwi fruit! Along the way you’ll learn some key skills that will develop your scientific thinking – like what to look for when designing an experiment, why you should keep a scientific journal and how to report your results. By the end of the collection you will be able to think about how to investigate the world around you and find out how it works. These materials form part of the Open University free courses Basic Science: Understanding Experiments and Basic Science: Understanding Numbers available from OpenLearn. http://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses

By: The OpenLearn team (The Open University,)

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Track 1: How to present your results

A graph is a great way of telling a story with numbers but the same data can be presented using different ways. So how do you choose the right type of graph to use?


© The Open University


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 How to present your results    A graph is a great way of telling a story with numbers but the same data can be presented using different ways. So how do you choose the right type of graph to use? Play now How to present your results
2 Making it all add up    Since numbers first emerged people have tried anything to make maths easier, find out how these attempts have changed through time. Play now Making it all add up
3 Explaining scientific notation    Find out how to write very big or very small numbers, and why it’s useful for communicating your results. Play now Explaining scientific notation
4 Explaining negative numbers    Negative numbers can seem hard to understand, but looking at different temperatures around the world shows that it's not that difficult. Play now Explaining negative numbers
5 Why keep a journal    Keeping a lab notebook is a vital skill for any scientist and beginners to the subject often underestimate its importance. Play now Why keep a journal
6 Potato experiment: How much water is in a potato?    Everyday food stuffs such as potatoes and apples contain water, but have you ever wondered how much? The answer may surprise you. Play now Potato experiment: How much water is in a potato?
7 Cucumber experiment: How to measure osmosis in a cucumber    By recording what happens when you drop cucumber into salty water you'll learn about an important process called osmosis. Play now Cucumber experiment: How to measure osmosis in a cucumber
8 Ice tray experiment: changing states of matter    How the physical properties of matter change at different temperatures is fundamental to life on our planet as you’ll see in this experiment. Play now Ice tray experiment: changing states of matter
9 Yeast Experiment: measuring respiration in yeast    This experiment uses a living organism to investigate the conditions under which life grows the best. Play now Yeast Experiment: measuring respiration in yeast
10 Kiwi Fruit Experiment: Finding the DNA of a kiwi fruit    Turn your kitchen into a CSI lab by using some common household chemicals to isolate the DNA in the cells of a kiwi fruit. Play now Kiwi Fruit Experiment: Finding the DNA of a kiwi fruit

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