One key to success for Jane Goodall
while she was at Gombe was her ability to be a keen observer
of chimpanzees. Although most people will not have an opportunity
to observe wild chimpanzees, students of science need to be
sharp observers because careful observations are the foundation
of scientific inquiry. Also, keep in mind - what we observe
and how we observe it determines the questions we ask.
Examine a stainless steel soup spoon and describe the
difference in the reflections of the inner and outer side
of the curved surfaces. Did you notice this before?
Select an object and describe it using as many of your
senses as possible and then share your description of it
and see if another person can guess what it is. Be sure
not to mention the name of the object in your description.
Find and carefully observe a natural object in your environment
from at least three different perspectives (e.g., up close,
a few feet away, etc.). Write down three observations from
each perspective and hypotheses for what you see. Discuss
how the observations were affected by perspective and how
the explanations changed with the addition of information.