Although we have covered many interesting and exciting STEM topics individually, it is important to recognize that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are all interconnected disciplines. Today, we will delve into the fascinating relationships between them and have a little fun discussing their interconnectedness.
It is no secret that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are essential to our modern world. Science helps us gain a deeper understanding of the world around us. Within these disciplines, various specialized fields contribute to a shared knowledge base that is built upon the scientific method. The scientific method involves the following steps:
- Observation: Make an observation or identify a problem in the natural world.
- Ask a Question & Research: Reviewing existing literature related to the observation or problem.
- Form a Hypothesis: Formulate a testable explanation or prediction based on the observation or problem.
- Experiment: Design and perform experiments to test the hypothesis. Identify and manipulate independent variables, while measuring or observing dependent variables.
- Data Collection: Collect and record data from the experiments or observations.
- Data Analysis: Analyze the collected data using statistical methods or other appropriate techniques to determine patterns, trends, or relationships.
- Conclusion: Draw conclusions based on the analysis of the data and evaluate whether they support or contradict the hypothesis
- Iterate: Use the results to make new hypotheses or predictions.
While the specific steps can vary slightly depending on the field of study, the core principles remain the same. The best part about the scientific method is that it ensures objectivity, reliability, and reproducibility in scientific research. If there are any questions or doubts about a specific experiment, someone else out there, even you, can replicate the experiment to determine if there is a different outcome. The scientific method represents our most systematic approach to understanding the natural world, enabling us to advance and build upon hypotheses, experiments, and ideas. It allows us to refine hypotheses or designs through further experimentation if necessary, as it is a dynamic process that continually improves while drawing evidence-based conclusions. Thanks to this process, we can make educated scientific predictions that are sometimes taken for granted, such as a 10-day weather forecast, for example.
Keeping all of that in mind, let’s take a look at the science of physics. Physics is a scientific discipline dedicated to the study of matter, energy, and their interactions. It seeks to uncover the fundamental principles that govern the behavior of the natural world, from the microscopic realm of subatomic particles to the vast expanse of the cosmos. By employing mathematical models and conducting experiments, physicists strive to describe and predict the motion, forces, energy transformations, and electromagnetic phenomena that shape our reality. Serving as a cornerstone of science, physics provides the foundation for advancements in various fields, including engineering, technology, and medicine. Its pursuit expands our knowledge and comprehension of the universe, unraveling its mysteries and enabling us to apply this understanding for practical applications and further scientific discoveries.
Our ongoing studies of physics and the scientific method have enabled us to make accurate predictions regarding the movement of objects in three-dimensional space. Through such experiments, I confidently assert that the gravitational force exerted by the Earth uniformly affects all forms of matter, irrespective of their mass or composition. This scientific fact can be quickly and easily tested by anyone reading this. For instance, if I were to drop a bowling ball and a racquetball from the same height without any influence from wind resistance, they would both hit the ground simultaneously. This simple experiment can be conducted with any random object. Although this can be tested just about anywhere, seeing this experiment in the world’s biggest vacuum can really drive the point home.
At the end of this short video Brian Cox hints at a level of physics outside of Newtonian laws of gravity but for this post we’re only going to focus on Newtonian physics.
So, how does math, engineering, and technology fit into all of this? Math serves as the language we use to comprehend scientific disciplines like physics. It provides the necessary tools for describing and modeling physical phenomena. Physics, in turn, applies these mathematical concepts to understand and explain the fundamental laws and principles that govern the natural world. Together, math and physics enable us to calculate various aspects, such as the time it takes for an object to fall to the ground or the force with which it will impact the ground. Engineers employ scientific principles to comprehend material properties, utilize technology to design and construct machines, and rely on math to calculate forces and stresses. Scientists harness technology to conduct experiments and gather data, and employ math to analyze and interpret that data. Mathematicians, on the other hand, leverage technology to create new mathematical models and tools.
The combination of science, technology, engineering and math can be seen in aerospace flight for example. For flight we must account for certain forces in physics in addition to gravity, such as lift, thrust, drag, thrust to weight ratio and centripetal force. Mathematics and physics plays a role in understanding and analyzing the forces involved in flight. Mathematical principles and equations are used to quantify and describe the relationships between these forces while engineering and technology plays a crucial role in the practical application of it all. Whether we’re talking about a rocket, a jet or an RC plane, STEM is involved and flight highlights the beauty of our scientific achievements showcasing the interconnectedness of the four fields.
Well, I also said we’d have some fun today so let’s talk about model aviation and while we’re at it give a shout out to the model aviators out there keeping the STEM hobby alive by teaching and inspiring others. Many of the most influential aeronautical engineers, pilots, astronauts, and scientists started as model aviation engineers.
How cool is model aviation? Well, just take a look at Tyler Perry’s setup in the following video.
Model aviation is a great introduction to STEM and we’re proud to share the following resources.
Our good buddy Clarence Ragland was nice enough to turn us on to FliteTest STEM which provides an amazing STEM curriculum for K-12.
Also, if any of this looks interesting to you, be sure to check out abchobbyshop.com and Clarence’s teaching methods. Clarence has a wealth of knowledge and has been a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics for over 50 years. He has a unique teaching method that enables him to have his first-time students flying in no time, without a buddy box.
Until next time friends!
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