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Scientists turn their science ideas into questions that can be investigated

Key ideas

  • Scientists discuss their ideas with each other; they do not work in isolation.
  • Scientists may explore a science idea without a precise focus.
  • The process of forming an investigation may draw on the work of other scientists, for example, previously published research and ideas.


Scientists use discussion to explore their science ideas. The process of forming a science investigation is open-ended and may change through interaction with other scientists.

The process of forming an investigation may be formal, for example, through response to presentation of research at a conference, or informal, for example, chatting to colleagues over a cup of coffee.

Teacher reflection

  • How might the questions of scientists differ from the questions of students?
  • How can the limited nature of students’ science ideas limit the questions that they ask? What effect can this have on student investigations?
  • How important is discussion to the generation of scientists’ questions?
  • In what ways can the views of other scientists influence the questions of a particular scientist?