It’s British Science Week, so here at Simple Scimum’s house we’re thinking about all things science. But what exactly is science? And how do we know when we’re doing it?
Science is a word that we use to describe the way we think about and test out how the world works. We do it by asking questions about things like nature, the environment and space and then doing experiments to work out bits of information that help us answer our questions. Working like this, step by step, can take a long time but it means that we can test and re-test our findings to make sure that the answers are right.
Now, you might think that scientists have to be super-clever but that’s not really true. As I wrote in a separate post, you just need to be able to do five things to be a scientist:
- be curious – don’t be afraid to ask questions about things!
- pay attention – use your eyes, ears, nose, tongue and fingers to explore the world around you
- use your imagination – to come up with ways of testing out the answers to all your questions
- play nicely – so that you can work in a team and ask other people for help
- keep a notebook – to record, write or draw all the interesting things you discover
Another thing you have to be able to do is not give up if your experiments don’t work the first time – just try again or think of a new way to test your ideas. As the famous inventor, Thomas Edison said “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
You also have to share information with other people. Scientists don’t usually work on their own. They normally work in teams and write about their findings in newspapers or magazines (called ‘journals’) so that other people can use that information in their own experiments.
So, to do science or be a scientist you don’t have to wear a white lab coat or be good at maths. All you have to do is investigate things in a methodical and logical manner, make observations, write down your findings and share the information with other people. By working like this, scientists help everyone to understand more about the world around us.
And that’s one of the reasons that I find science super-exciting!
If you’d like to find out more about what scientists do, take a look at this list of famous scientists. Can you imagine being on this list one day?