Homework: Questions Day

Science is about asking good questions. It is not about knowing the right answers. In school you learn a lot of the answers people have learned in the past. Did you ever wonder why things that seem so obvious now were not always obvious? For example, everybody knows that the Earth orbits the sun and turns on its axis. Day and night is not caused by the motion of the Sun around the Earth; it’s caused by the rotation of the Earth. And yet for centuries it was considered not just wrong but sacrilegious to say that the Sun did not move! The truth was not really known, and did not become accepted, until scientists such as Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo began to ask the right questions. And when the right questions are followed by experiment and cafeful observation of the actual facts the truth can be discovered.

Your assignment is to ask a question. You may ask about anything you like, as long as it is a question that can be answered by observation and experiment. On Questions Day you will give your questions to your teacher who will try to answer as many of them as possible. The class can discuss the meaning of the question, its answer, or how to go about answering it. As inspiration, you could look to your own everyday experience. For example, here are a few that have been asked in class in recent years:

Alternatively, you could ask a question about a current event or a report about science in the news. Here are a few web sites you could look at to find interesting things to ask about. If you ask a question about things in current events please give a web address along with your question.

Science : NPR http://www.npr.org/sections/science/
Nature News & Comment http://www.nature.com/news/index.html
Science News - NASA Science http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/
Phys.org - News and Articles on Science and Technology "http://phys.org/
Science News | Reuters.com http://www.reuters.com/news/science
Science & Environment - BBC News http://www.bbc.com/news/science_and_environment
Breaking Science News | Sci-News.com http://www.sci-news.com/
News | Science | AAAS https://www.sciencemag.org/news
Scientific American Magazine www.scientificamerican.com
Space.com: NASA, Space Exploration and Astronomy News http://www.space.com/
Science News | Daily news articles, blogs and biweekly magazine covering all areas of science https://www.sciencenews.org/
Universe :: NASA Space Place http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/menu/space/
ScienceNews for Students | Student Science https://student.societyforscience.org/sciencenews-students

You will earn a homework grade for providing a question for your teacher to answer. If you do not provide a question, you will receive a zero. To earn credit, be sure to clearly write your name, class period, date and your question on a piece of paper. If your question is based on something you read online you must include a web address.

‘Science is more in the question business than the answer business. There's a reason every scientific paper ends with a call for more research.
If you want answers that never change, definitive conclusions, and final truths odds are you don't want to ask a scientist.’ —Shankar Vedantem
Last updated: Jun 21, 2016       Home