is the first step in the scientific process. Scientists themselves
sometimes use video to enhance their own, direct observations.
With video, they can replay an event, see it in fast or slow motion,
make time-lapse observations, document changes, focus more closely,
freeze action, etc. Video clips provide an opportunity for students
to make authentic scientific observations, too. Use these suggestions
and student handouts with your class.
for viewing video clips as a scientist:
do you see?
The first time you watch, record what you notice, in writing.
If viewing a short clip, play it two or three times. Give yourself
time to look again and confirm what you think you saw. Write down
everything you noticed, like a brainstorm.
questions do you have?
During observation, we see things that make us wonder. It is common,
during a rich observation period, for many good questions to come
to mind. When observing video clips, capture the questions you
have as you watch. (You might use a different color pen to take
notes each time a clip is viewed. It’s interesting to watch
how observations improve and questions develop.)
do others see and wonder?
Each individual sees and interprets things differently. Come together
with your class and compare notes. Watch how your ideas expand
after sharing with the group. View the clip again several times
so you can see the new things other people noticed, and the questions
might observations be explained?
After observing events, scientists try to explain what they have
seen by forming a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a possible explanation.
How do you think your observations could be explained? Form a
could you find out?
After forming a hypothesis, the scientist’s next step is
experimentation. How might you design an experiment to test your