Learning Lunch: How Does Science Really Work?

Working through the scientific process is not linear, but more like a pinball machine zigzagging around – and not a solo venture, but instead a collaborative endeavor among communities of scientists.

Those were a few of the conclusions Wednesday from audience members attending the April Lincoln Public School’s Learning Lunch: How Does Science Really Work? 

In the wake of the pandemic, science has certainly been put under the microscope, said Betsy Barent, science curriculum specialist for LPS.  So, she invited Learning Lunch participants to engage in an activity that would deepen their understanding about what science is – and what it isn’t.

Barent passed out a deck of cards to each table in the presentation room and asked folks at each table to turn over five cards at a time – then attempting to write a sentence from the words.  As they were allowed to turn over more and more cards, the sentences gradually were formed with more clarity.

First of all, audience members noted how they were not working alone, but were all working collaboratively.

“Scientists collaborate all the time – they are not locked up in a lab in white lab coats with crazy hair,” Barent said with a laugh.  “In fact, in this day and age, their work is becoming more and more global.” 

Audience members also observed that the sentences they were creating – representing scientific observations and conclusions – became more understandable with additional cards (additional data, evidence and information).  

The next and last LPS Learning Lunch for the school year – “Lincoln Youth Symphony, 65 Years of Musical Excellence” – is set for noon Tuesday, May 17.  You can watch the program via livestream or attend in person at LPS District Office, 5905 O St. No registration is required.

Barent told audience members they were very much like paleontologists digging up ancient bones.  “You just keep finding out more, digging up more … Science is never done … It is ever-changing, innovative, dynamic.” 

Published: April 20, 2022, Updated: April 20, 2022