How Scientists Communicate the Findings of Their
published Bald Eagle research paper
One of the
most important steps in a scientist's work is the sharing of research
results with other scientists. Before the findings of any research
can be accepted as "fact" and become an accepted part of
scientific knowledge, they must first be discussed and reviewed by
other scientists. This is a formal process. Scientists summarize their
research in "scientific papers" and these papers are published
in professional journals. This is how the body of scientific knowledge
is built--and how it constantly changes as new research findings replace
As a way to synthesize your students' learning this spring, have them write
scientific papers based on the research they have reviewed or conducted. This
activity is best used with one of the migrations tracked by satellite, since
the on-line data collected is part of a real research project. However, some
students may invent and test their own hypotheses about other migrations or
spring events featured in Journey North.
1. As the satellite-tracked migrations
begin, explain that these animals are being tracked by research scientists
who are trying to answer specific questions about the animal they are
2. Explain the importance of the
scientific review process as described above. Introduce the format
scientists use when writing a scientific paper. Distribute copies of
the "Format of a Scientific
Paper" handout. Discuss the contents of each section of the
migration updates arrive, have students read them carefully and look
for the kind of information and data that must be included in a scientific
students to write their own scientific papers at the conclusion of
the migration--just as our featured scientists are preparing to do!
questions does the scientist have?
- How is
he/she attempting to answer them?
- How are
the data being collected?
does the scientist think about the data? Does he/she draw any conclusions?
- Is the
research successful in answering the questions that were originally