Sci101 unit 4 individual project – applying scientific methods

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The scientific method is a cyclical and self-correcting process that involves several steps. Observations and collecting qualitative and quantitative evidence are important to make predictions and to develop a theory.


Scientific breakthroughs do not happen overnight. Sometimes, the missing piece of the scientific puzzle takes years to discover. In 1915, Alfred Wegener proposed the theory of continental drift to explain the past and present location of the continents; however, his ideas were met with resistance because he could not provide evidence that would support his hypothesis. Later oceanographers, geologists, and scientists collected more information to verify and explain the theory. In the 1960s, the mechanism and processes were explained by plate tectonic theory. With advancements in science and technology, scientists are still collecting more information.


Answer each of the following questions in your own words and in 3–5 sentences:


1.What is continental drift?


2.What was Alfred Wegener’s hypothesis for continental drift, and why was his idea not accepted?


3.Explain the evidence collected in the last part of the 20th century that supports Wegener’s continental drift theory.


4.What is plate tectonic theory? Explain the types of plate boundaries, and explain 1 example for each type of plate boundary.


5.Provide a brief summary of how the scientific method is applied to develop the theory.


6.Explain 1 example of invention or innovation that was used or is currently used to collect more information on the continental drift theory and plate tectonics.

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