Take Note of This... Science and Nature Journaling!


Why do we need to take notes in science?

It's sort of like why we need to write down the amounts of ingredients and methods we use to make a recipe. What if you were baking a cake and it turned out all soggy and small? You would want to look back at your recipe, to see which ingredient you may have added too much or too little of, or how you could alter your cook temperature, so that next time, your cake will turn out fluffy and tall!

Scientists (like us!) take notes because... 

  • You can refer back to see what you’ve learned including both failures and successes
  • You can record questions and ideas.
  • In observational science, you can use drawings to record data--and it doesn't have to be perfect! Use drawings and words that make sense to YOU!

Ideas on Journaling

There are many ways to make a science journal! You can even buy one from your local grocery store! 

Include the date and time and name of challenge. 

Use the scientific method: 

  1. Ask a question! How, why, when, what, who, which, or where? 
  2. Do some background research. You will want to know a little bit about the problem you are trying to solve, so that you know where to start! 
  3. Make a hypothesis. A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work. 
  4. Conduct an experiment and record your data! Make sure you use units, and show all your work. The experiment should be testing the hypothesis! 
  5. Analyze your data and draw a conclusion. Does the data you collected support or disprove your hypothesis? You may want to make a new hypothesis and start the scientific process over again! 

Drawing and Contouring in a Journal

Check out this video from Hannah at the Audubon Center with suggestions on how to sketch in your journal!