It is not hard to fix a flashlight by doing the things you just wrote down. This is the scientific method as applied to every day problem-solving.Learning science through inquiryWhat learningthrough inquirymeansThe goal of this book is to help you learn science through inquiry. This means you will be asked questions instead of being given answers. You will be asked to propose explanations (hypotheses) for things that you see. And like your most ancient ancestors and the most modern detectives, and almost everyone in between, not all your explanations will be correct. In inquiry, getting the right answer immediately is not important.What is important is having a possible answer that can be tested to see whether it is right or not. You will be given ways (investigations) to collect evidence so you can decide which hypotheses are correct and which are not.Why not just tellyou the answers?Of course, you could just read the answers in the book and skip all the thinking and testing. There are two major reasons why learning through inquiry is a better way. For one, just reading the answers in a book is boring and you are unlikely to remember them anyway.Inquiry teachesyou how to usescienceThe most important reason to learn through inquiry is that someday, maybe tomorrow, you will be stumped by something that does not work in your life outside the classroom. It is very unlikely this book or any book will have taught you to fix the exact thing that has you stumped. Inquiry teaches you how to learn how almost anything works. Once you know how something works, you can often figure out how to make it work for you. This is called problem-solving and it is an extraordinarily useful skill. In fact, problem-solving is the most important thing you will learn in this course. Simple answers, like the temperature of Mars can always be looked up in a book. Inquiry teaches you how to usethe answers to solve your problemsand become successful.
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