Biology How Life Works

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  • How Do We Know? figures

    How Do We Know? figures cover key experiments within the text that introduce students to the process of scientific inquiry. These figures provide enough detail to show the many different ways that scientists ask and answer questions about the natural world. The exploration of How Do We Know? figures continues with online Working with Data activities and Mirror Experiment activities that emphasize experimental design, data analysis and presentation, statistics, and scale and approximation.

    Working with Data activities

    Through Working with Data activities, students explore and analyze How Do We Know? figures by answering a series of questions related to the experiments illustrated in those figures. These questions help students gain a deeper understanding of the experiments and their results. They also give students the opportunity to practice experimental design and data analysis skills.

    The Working with Data activities refer students to four Data Analysis Primers on topics of Experimental Design, Data and Data Presentation, Statistics, and Scale & Approximation. These primers provide a brief but thorough discussion of important concepts and skills used in scientific research. 

    Click here to see a list of the Working with Data activities.

    Try a Working with Data activity

    Mirror Experiment Activity

    Mirror Experiment activities introduce students to a new scientific study that relates to, or "mirrors," one of the How Do We Know?  experiments. They often answer the same question as the corresponding How Do We Know? experiments, but use different methods or systems. In this way, they help to teach students that scientists often answer the same question in many different ways in order to better understand how life works. These Mirror Experiments are followed by a set of questions that help students understand the experiment and results in greater detail, as well as practice quantitative skills. 

    Click here to see a list of the Mirror Experiment activities.

    Try a Mirror Experiment activity