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Find the Washer
This lesson teaches students that scientific hypotheses are subject to being tested. A closed box is shown to the class. It can be seen that three wires run through the box lengthwise and three more run through it widthwise, creating a grid of six crossed wires. The class is told that there is a metal washer somewhere on one or two of the wires inside the box. The challenge is to propose a series of tests(pulling out the wires, one at a time, listening for the washer to drop) in such a way that the location of the washer can be ascertained.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lesson plan
Subject:
  • History and philosophy of science
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 1999 ENSI (Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes) This material may be copied only for noncommercial classroom teaching purposes, and only if this source is clearly cited.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-004-636
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Nature of science
    • 9-12:
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Nature of scientific knowledge
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes


Author: Tom Watts