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Activity: Scientific Language–Facts and Laws

Materials

  • Table 1.4
  • A pencil or pen

 

Procedure

Each of the following pairs of statements relate to the same scientific idea (see Table 1.4). 
  1. Read each statement. Classify each statement with one of the following codes and write the code in the space to the left of each statement:
    • F = fact
    • L = law
       
  2. In the space after each statement, explain why you chose the classification.
     
  3. Use each statement labeled as F for fact to create a hypothesis based on that fact. You may change your classification of the above statements if you need to.
     
  4. How were you able to classify the statements you labeled L for law? How might those laws have been developed? You may revise your classification of the above statements if you need to.

 

Activity Questions: 
  1. What are the differences between a fact and a law?
     
  2. Scientific laws, especially those described by mathematical formulas, are less common in life sciences than in physical sciences. Based on what you know about laws, why do you think this might be so?
Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.