Nine Basic Scientific Concepts The National Center for Improving Science Education recommends that elementary schools design curricula that introduce nine scientific concepts. 8217s recent report, Getting Started in Science: A Basic concepts of preschool education for Elementary School Science Education. Scientists have made the study of science manageable by organizing and classifying natural phenomena.
Primary-grade children can be introduced to this concept by sorting objects like leaves, shells, or rocks according to their characteristics. Intermediate-grade children can classify vegetables or fruits according to properties they observe in them, and then compare their own classification schemes to those used by scientists. Primary children can learn about cause and effect by observing the effect that light, water, and warmth have on seeds and plants. A system is a whole that is composed of parts arranged in an orderly manner according to some scheme or plan.
In science, systems involve matter, energy, and information that move through defined pathways. The amount of matter, energy, and information, and the rate at which they are transferred through the pathways, varies over time. Primary children can learn about systems by studying the notion of balance—for example, by observing the movements and interactions in an aquarium. Older children might gain an understanding of systems by studying the plumbing or heating systems in their homes. Scale refers to quantity, both relative and absolute. Thermometers, rulers, and weighing devices help children see that objects and energy vary in quantity. It’s hard for children to understand that certain phenomena can exist only within fixed limits of size.