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Key concepts: Science

Key concepts are the big ideas and understandings that we hope will remain with our students long after they have left school.

The following are key concepts/big ideas in science:

Science is evidence based

Scientific theories are based on evidence collected by making observations in the natural, physical world. These theories are supported, modified or replaced as new evidence appears. The search for evidence in science occurs through an inquiry process that blends human curiosity, imagination, logic and serendipity. It is strongly influenced by the ideas which people currently hold.

Scientific knowledge is provisional

Although reliable and durable, scientific knowledge is subject to change as scientists learn more about phenomena.

Scientists use theories and models to describe the natural and physical world

Scientists use simplified theories or models to describe the way the natural, physical world works. They use these models or theories to make predictions, test these predictions through experimentation and observation and use their results to revise and improve the models.

Science is influenced by society

Science is embedded in the culture of the times. Scientific views take into account contemporary values, ethics, economics and politics. Scientists work collaboratively and share their findings and build on the work of other scientists.

Last updated December 3, 2010