Measuring in Science

Janet Musil, Sandburg High School, Orland Park, IL
School Library Journal
Feb 2006

[Review of Scientific Processes Series] This four-part series covers safety practices, common tools of measurement, the use of the metric system and metric units, measurement terminology, the scientific method and examples of science fair projects, and the difference between qualitative and quantitative observations and data analysis. Actual students, often with girls in non-traditional roles, are featured. Footage of male and female scientists on the job demonstrating measurement and data collecting practices reflect a balanced gender and ethnic perspective. The simple graphics and tables are easy to interpret. The narration relates scientific processes to daily events, validating the function of science in everyday life. The female narrator offers numerous sports analogies, with film footage of highly energized sports events in the background to maintain student interest. The rather slow pace of the narration gives the target audience time to absorb the principles being taught. There is an opportunity for discussion between segments for students to predict the outcome of an event. While the series is intended for upper elementary and middle school students, the basic information presented here could be useful in high school science classes beginning the study of the scientific method.