Employment in the science and technology market continues to grow in demand. However, there still needs to be a fundamental change in how educational institutions teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to encourage people to enter it as a field. You will be amazed by the many ways STEM works together to improve our lives through innovations and inventions.
Some gadgets can provide a lot of information regarding an observed phenomenon. And since science is based on empirical evidence, your world observations are the first part of being a scientist. A generalization of the observations is next, and then performing experiments or tests to see the validity of your conception is the whole idea behind the scientific method.
Here are some activities that you can try experimenting on to encourage yourself or someone else to be interested in science (regardless of age):
1. Need for Speed
In a cold open from the US adaptation of the comedy series “The Office,” a speed detector installed in front of the office building is the point of interest of the cast. They are using it to determine who is the fastest among them. Steve Carell happens to run alongside a car, clocking in 31 mph compared to his previous run of 12 mph. Although these people came to work to sell paper, installing a speed detector outside their building piqued their interest and interfered with their workday.
You can experiment with testing the velocity of objects by purchasing a radar speed gun and testing it out on fast-moving objects, like a pitched baseball. First, you can start by observing how the pitcher throws the ball and note down measured values for its speed. Then you can calculate the average speed by adding up all the values together and dividing them by the number of pitches you recorded. You can decide on a particular throw and generalize that it is much better than any other throw. Baseball scientists (like you in this scenario) will then experiment to see if you are right by trying out different ways to pitch and measure their average speed.
This is beneficial for some high school baseball coaches and sports scientists who want to determine which pitches or throws are more effective at producing strikes and outs. They can then match their analyses in scouting reports determining which pitch works best against which batter, increasing the odds of a win.
2. Cooking Up Some Heat
Meat tends to cook at various temperatures. If you decide on cooking a steak, you might have preferences on the level of rawness (or lack thereof) it ought to have. Instead of using a gauge meat thermometer, use an electric one instead. Gauge meat thermometers use a bi-metal strip that controls the pointer on the analog display that tells you where the chicken, pork, or beef is cooked or not and whether it is rare, medium rare, or well done.
On the other hand, digital thermometers give you the exact value for the temperature of the meat you are cooking. You can look up some temperature values online for a particular rawness of the meat and test if the values fall within that range or if the value posted on the internet is right. This is called repeatability among scientists. Conducting this experiment will check if the people online are right about their claims or are lying about the temperature at which your steak is medium rare. Whatever the result, you will eat some delicious steak during and after the experiment.
3. Farming Knowledge
Timelapse videos of plants growing are part of visually pleasing media on the internet. They look like they are dancing to sunlight. But plants grown under a solar lamp grow differently under regular sunlight. After all, normal daylight only exists for half of a day, compared to a solar lamp that can run 24 hours a day. You can test for this difference by conducting your experiment and growing your food.
Start by comparing the growth of seeds into seedlings under normal sunlight and compare it to the development of their true leaves under a solar lamp. You might notice a significant difference in the time it takes for plants to grow under normal sunlight versus under solar light. This way, you can get an idea of the value of solar lamps in the food security of people who do not have access to constant sunlight.
Science is exciting and prevalent in many ways in everyone’s daily life. As people become more connected to information through the internet, it shows how exciting anything can be.