Natural Science Unit 35 Laboratory Activity: Inductive and Deductive Reasoning
Goal: To understand the roles of induction and deduction in scientific methodology
Materials and Equipment:
- A partner (parent, sibling)
- Seven random small objects, choses by your partner without your knowledge.
- A stopwatch.
- Pencil, paper.
- Observation aids (ruler, light source, magnifying glass, etc) of your choice.
- Assemble your observation aids. Once the exercise starts, you should not leave the observation area to fetch any new aids.
- Do not look at the objects until you are told to do so.
- Your partner should arrange six of the seven objects on a tray or table or yard (depending on size), in no particular order.
- When you are ready, start the clock and observe the objects. Write down any details you want, about any of the objects. Use your aids to more closely examine any of the objects. Time limit: 30 minutes total observing time.
- Return to a study area, away from your objects. Classify your information in appropriate categories, and try to apply each category to every object you observed.
- Based on your observations, make three general statements about your objects that apply equally to each object.
- Have your partner show you the seventh object. Using your inductively-acquired generalizations, make three deductions about this seventh object.
Present your data in tabular form.
State your induced principles and the reasoning that led to them. State your deduction about the seventh object and describe how you arrived at these conclusions.
Conclusions and Report
Describe your procedure, the objects, your induced generalizations about the six objects, and your deductive conclusions about the final object. Did all of your generalizations apply to the final object? Why or why not? What other observations or categories might have led to a better generalization? Are you "convinced" by your deduction from your induced principles?
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