Instructor Picture

Session 3: Nature of Science

Instructor: Brian Newberry
Phone (909) 537-7630

Goal: Explore the nature of science as it relates to STEM and STEM education.




Everyone should understand the nature of science as well as have a basic understanding of scientific principles and fundamentals that have contributed to our understanding of the world around us. There are many great sources that will help you explore and understand the nature of science. I expect you to review the sources I provide as well as find some of your own. A book that I can recommend for additional information is: Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy ( Hazen, R. and Trefil, J. (1990) ( ISBN: 978-0385261081). These are available cheap online!

In this session  you will be exploring the nature of science, you will get to know a scientist in greater detail and you will begin to formulate an understanding of how science is situated in the context of STEM and STEM education.


Student-Content: Readings, Discussions
Student-Instructor: Email
Student-Student: Discussions, Email

Media and Links

Nature of Science (Wepage)

Position Statement About Science, NSTA (Webpage)

Some Notes on the Nature of Science (Webpage)

Nature of Science Assignment (Word)

Getting to Know a Scientist Assignment (Word)

Audacity (Free/Open Source Software)

LAME' MP3 Encoder (Free/Open Source Software)

Audacity Tutorial (Quicktime)

Example MP3 Interview available here: (Webpage)




Nature of Science Assignment

1. Read the provided material on the nature of science.

2. Explore additional sources on  your own.

3. Discuss your findings with others.

4. Respond to the Items in the Nature of Science Assignment Document

5. Post your document in your eFolio.


Getting to Know a Scientist Assignment

The purpose of this activity is to help you meet and interact with individuals in STEM related fields. There are two options: Interview a Scientist or Create a Biography of a Scientist. You only have to do one of these!


1. Identify a Scientist.
2. Arrange an interview with that person.
3. Record the interview (alternative: create transcript).

4. Post file online (eFolio or elsewhere).


1. Select a Scientist

2. Read multiple sources about the scientist.

3. Write a 2-3 page biography of the scientist.

4. Upload the biography to your eFolio.



Nature of Science

You must respond to the items in the Nature of Science document above and post this on your eFolio. You must provide the URL to access your responses to the instructor in an email.

Getting to Know a Scientist

You must either produce a 5 minute interview (MP3 format) or typed transcript of your interview and post it online (eFolio or other). You must provide the URL to access your submission to the instructor in an email.



Nature of Science

Up to 5 points based on the quality of response to the specific items in the assignment.

Getting to Know a Scientist

Up to 5 points based on the quality of the interview including appropriateness of the questions, evidence of real engagement in the interview by the interviewee, quality of the final product.