How Science is Done: A Behind the Scenes Look at Scientific Research

Susan, Trammell, Physics and Optical Science, UNC Charlotte

Have you ever wondered what really goes on in a scientific research laboratory? Do you want to know how scientific discovery translates into technological progress? Then, this is the seminar for you!

The goal of this seminar experience is to provide a behind the scenes look at scientific research that will inform you and help you inspire the next generation of scientists. We will start with a review of the scientific method and will conduct some of our own experiments to better understand the scientific inquiry process. We will talk about how scientists are trained, how they pose questions, how they design experiments and how they communicate their results. We will then take a behind the scenes look at research labs in several different disciplines on the UNC Charlotte campus. We will meet the UNC Charlotte faculty members who run these labs and the graduate students who work in them. We will hear about cutting edge research that is taking place right here in Charlotte.

This seminar will also include an optional 2-week summer research experience. During this 10-day period you will work in a research lab side-by-side with graduate students. This will give you a chance to get your hands dirty and really understand how scientific research is done. On the last day of the 2-week summer session, we will have a symposium to hear about what you have learned.

Inquiry is fundamental to scientific discovery, but inquiry learning can be applied to all disciplines. So, this seminar is appropriate for all teachers in grades K-12.