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The Scientific Process

Being a scientist is fun. You get to do experiments and think of reasons why things might be happening a certain way. Being a scientist is also hard work.

After a scientist comes up with a reason why something might be happening, they have to test that reason with experiments. If their reason holds up during experiments, then the scientist usually shares his/her findings with other scientists. In modern science, this is done by talking about the findings during a presentation or by writing about the findings in a journal. A scientific journal is like a magazine, read by other scientists. See Science for an example of a scientific journal.

A discovery isn't really accepted in the science community until other scientists agree that the first scientist's work makes sense. Sometimes agreement on a science topic takes a long time--years, or even decades. Evolution, the Big Bang, and climate change are all theories that were first brought up long ago, and these are all still being researched and worked on by scientists today.

Now it's not just scientists that do science - students do too! When you do a science experiment in class, or in a science fair project, you are taking part in the scientific process too!

Last modified April 8, 2008 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA