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All scientists must be able to make observations. This enables one to gather information about the natural world. Measurement is an important skill. It must be accurate when collecting data during an experiment. Classification or the grouping of objects into categories is important to simplify the study of science. For example, when using binomial nomenclature, all organisms are classified into a particular genus and species. Quantification, is the use of numbers to express observations. It is more precise than using a qualitative description. Stating the 90 out of 100 plants grew using a new fertilizer is better than saying a lot of plants grew! Inferring is making an assumption of what caused an observed event. It is an important step in scientific inquiry. Predicting is looking for a trend that can be further tested by experimentation. Finding relationships requires analytical thought where one tries to figure out how a system's variables influence or counter influence one another. Communication via lab report, chart, graph, article is important while doing scientific research. Interpretation of data is to be able to think creatively to recognize patterns in the research being performed. Controlling variables during research is important. You want to focus on only one variable at a time, to establish a clear outcome. For example, if studying a new plant food, you will not want to also test different amounts of light on the plant's growth at the same time. This would be two different variables, and you would not be sure if your outcome was due to the food or the light! Hypothesizing is the ability to make an educated guess about what will be the solution to a problem or question. It is based on observation, prior knowledge and research that was previously conducted. It is testable by experimentation. All of these skills or processes are part of the scientific method of problem solving. The two most important in my opinion are observation and hypothesizing. Keen observations are fundamental to sparking new ideas for research about scientific processes. Hypotheses are testable solutions to questions and problems. These are what keep scientific knowledge continually advancing and evolving.
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