Session 6. The Nature of Science and the Greenhouse Effect

In this session, participants gain insight into the nature and practices of science in the best way possible—by doing and reflecting on science. They take a critical look at what is and is not an accurate view of science by attempting to define it. Participants experiment with a “mystery tube” in an investigative activity designed to provide an explicit sense of the practices of science: what scientists do and how science works. They then use models and engage in discussions to gain an understanding of Earth’s changing atmospheric CO2 concentration and its relationship to the greenhouse effect. They then revisit the question of how science works as they compare the greenhouse effect activity experience to a flow chart about how science works and participate in a research discussion. They come to appreciate the public’s perceptions of science and why clarifying their own understanding of the nature and practices of science affects—and is in fact critical to—their own practice.