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Knows that scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using observation, experiments and theoretical and mathematical models; although all scientific ideas are tentative and subject to change and improvement in principle, for most core ideas in the sciences there is much experimental and observational confirmation.

It's Raining Cats and Dogs...and Fish and Frogs...and Birds

Using a recent event, this example illustrates some useful attributes of the nature of science and its approach to questions.

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Why Is There a Tidal Bulge Opposite the Moon?

Demonstrate and calculate the reasons for tidal bulges of water on both hemispheres of Earth, due to the Moon.

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Right Place, Wrong Time

It's important to check the results from an experiment. Does the result make sense? Does it follow from other facts that are known? From the standpoint of teaching High School science, checking if one's results are sensible adds an additional layer of safety that the results are correct. (From the standpoint of advancements in Science, a basic research tenet is that results must be repeatable and not just a fluke.

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Length of the Day

The length of the day is something we take for granted. Yet, much can be learned about the day -- and the way the Earth moves -- from careful observations of the Sun and a more distant star, over as little as 24 hours, with a home-made viewer and a good clock.

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Earth Turns? Prove It!

We are all told that the Earth turns and we accept that. But an actual demonstration of how scientists proved this can have lasting impact on the acceptance of this authoritative statement and also on how students judge other authoritative statements for themselves, scientific or otherwise. Satisfying oneself that Earth does actually rotate shows what can be done to encourage such thinking.

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