observation

Waterfall Effect

This is an illusion that surprised me the first time I saw it. I was visiting a beautiful waterfall in Tennessee, and had never heard of the Waterfall Effect. The results were quite surprising and delightful.

Orange Slices

This is a cool science trick that will let you know the number of sections in an orange (or other citrus fruit) before you slice it. It makes a fun trick that seems like magic, but is actually just a matter of careful observation.

Observe an Expert Scientist

Baby1

Happy Baby Scientist and his sister

As you learn the process of science, wouldn't it be great to be able to watch expert scientists at work? By watching the way they approached new problems, tested ideas, and revised their views based on the evidence they collected, you could improve your understanding of how science works.

Geology in the City


What if you live in a big city, with no road cuts or rock outcrops nearby? Are you out of luck for finding rocks to study? No! Many of the buildings in most cities have decorative stonework covering their outer walls and their lobbies. You won't be able to collect specimens, but you can collect some marvelous photographs.

Marbles, Inertia, and Paper Plates


This experiment started out as a Science Photo Challenge and got such a great response that I wanted you to experiment with it yourself. It is a wonderful physic puzzle, and offers interesting insights into the science of force and motion.

To try this, you will need:

  • a paper plate
  • scissors
  • a marble or other small ball

Lets start with the question from the Science Photo.

The Importance of Observation

Observation is a very important part of science. It lets us see the results of an experiment, even if they are not the results we expect. It lets us see unexpected things around us that might stimulate our curiosity, leading to new experiments. Even more important than observation is accurate observation. Often, our eyes and our brains play tricks on us, letting us see what we expect to see, instead of what is actually there.

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