Scientific Reasoning Assignment part of State Your Case:Activities
The introductory-level Scientific Reasoning Assignments ask students to write a one-page paper outlining their solution to a problem that arises from the content material in the course. The papers are to include four parts: (a) a diagram (usually a graph, but not always), (b) a conclusion or solution statement for the problem, (c) an explanation of the approach taken to solve the problem, and (d) a discussion of shortcomings of the solution or approach. The five assignments of this form carried out over the course of a semester included the content areas of Lewis Structures, G-T diagrams, automobile fuels, batteries, and ozone depletion mechanisms. The papers are intended to give students opportunities to practice locating appropriate sources (and citing them properly), writing effectively to explain scientific data or ideas to others, and to illustrate their scientific ideas using diagrams or graphs.