Team Observation

Students observe the same subject and work together to discover as much as possible. As they do, they see the variety and depth of the observations that can be made. Science is a team sport. Rarely does a lone scientist, working in isolation, contribute much to our understanding of the world. Scientists work together to solve complex problems. They share ideas, read one another’s work, replicate one another’s studies, and build on what is already understood. Everyone has different strengths, and having more eyes on any problem means there will be more ways of thinking about potential solutions. We can see examples with NASA (it takes a village to get to the moon—and back) or any group engineering effort that has produced many of the modern products we use every day. Any lab at a university comprises a cohort of graduate students at various levels, and just about any scientific paper was written by a team of authors. Your students will go further in their understanding of science if it is a collaborative effort, not a competition to see who gets the best grade. Use this activity to set the tone of teamwork and enable your students to see how much they can learn when they work together.
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