November 23, 2007, Newsletter Issue #203: Preventing Science Slips

Tip of the Week

1. Plan carefully. Write out even the minutest detail ahead of time.

2. Allow time for last minute difficulties. Hardly anything ever works exactly right the first time. Make sure that you don't try to cram a 25 minute experiment into 15 minutes!

3. Trust your instincts. If the experiment seems like it might be dangerous or faulty, check with an expert before proceeding.

4. Follow instructions exactly. Now is not the time to cut corners and it could even be dangerous.

5. Don´t be afraid to elaborate. While this may seem contradictory to the preceding tip, feel free to expand the experiment where safety is not a concern. Part of the discovery process is asking "What would happen if we did this?".

6. Turn failure into learning opportunities. If the experiment fails, instead of chucking it, go back and search for reasons why it failed.

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Sarita Holzmann
Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd.

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