Questions for ‘Science isn’t just for scientists’

“Kids, like all humans, are doing science all the time,” says science teacher David Ropa. For instance, setting off a rocket, with the help of a teacher or other adult, uses basic science principles of physics and motion.

LightFieldStudios/iStock/Getty Images Plus

To accompany feature “Science isn’t just for scientists


Before Reading:

1. What does it mean to be a scientist?

2. List three jobs that aren’t research but might use science. For each, list what types of science you think would be helpful for doing that job.

During Reading:

1.   What scientific concepts does David Ropa teach his seventh graders through rocketry?

2.   Why did J. Kenji Lopez-Alt decide he didn’t want to be a scientist? What kinds of science does he like to use in the kitchen?

3.   Why does adding baking soda to water change how potatoes cook?

4.   How does pressing a piano key create a sound that we hear?

5.   How does Don Mitchell use math when tuning a piano?

6.   What are two things that Lynze Price might need to troubleshoot on an airplane?

7.   Why does soil pH matter to Leslie Hunter?

8.   What are three ways that Ropa’s students use science in their crime scene investigation?

9.   What has Ryan Lei learned about the importance of role models in getting kids engaged in science? What is an important characteristic of effective role models?

10.  What steps does Maarten van Lier take when coming up with a new 3-D printer design?

After Reading:

1.   What is one career you might be interested in pursuing when you grow up? List two ways that career might involve scientific ideas or approaches. 

2.   Describe something that happened to you in the past few weeks that required you to come up with an idea to solve a problem. What was the problem, and how did you try to solve it? What happened?