What Are The Different Science Processes, Describe Each?


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The American Association for the Advancement of Science recognizes a total of 13 Science Processes, eight of which are known as the 'basic processes' which includes observation, measurement, classification, quantification, inference, prediction, relationships and communication and are skills that can be taught and recognized in children of up to grade three. In grades four and above more advanced skills known as 'integrated processes' such as the interpretation of data, the controlling variables, operational definitions, hypothesizing and experimentation are to be learned and observed.

Basic Processes

  • Observation: The collation of information through any one of our five senses, as well as the ability to observe as it is without the weight of opinion or judgment to an experience.
  • Measurement: The ability to make a comparison in reference to a particular standard, this can be conditional where individual interpretation may be valid, or a concrete measurement such as universal weight and length measurements.
  • Classification: To be able to identify characteristics of something and through those characteristics establish a relationship with other things that display those characteristics.
  • Quantification: This is the use of numbers to accurately illustrate data which would be hard to describe.
  • Inference: The making of assumptions within the boundaries of an individual perspective due to influencing environmental factors.
  • Prediction: The skill of being able to work out likely future outcomes from a body of evidence that can be tested.
  • Relationships: Being able to identify interactions between two or more variables, via a process of analytical thought.
  • Communication: The art of representing data in a comprehensible way.
Integrated Processes

  • Interpretation: On the other side of the communication is the technique of being able to make sense of the data presented.
  • Controlling Variables: Analysis of the situation and recognizing the action needed to be taken to be able to accurately observe a single aspect in isolation.
  • Operational Definitions: The act of taking arbitrary definitions and anchoring them to a solid foundation as opposed to being relative.
  • Hypothesizing: Another mental process where observations are made to arrive at a testable presumption based on cultural beliefs.
  • Experimenting: A systematic evaluation of hypothesis.

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