In this engaging approach to critical thinking, longtime science educator Hy Ruchlis takes young people step by step through the key principles af the scientific method. Ruchlis directs this instructive and entertaining book to youngsters in the "tween years" (roughly ages 11 to 14), that important time between childhood and young adulthood when the fairy tales of the child's imagination give way to the realities of growing up. At this stage it is essential that young people learn to distinguish fact from fiction and to ask the question - how do you know it's true?
Combining clear, understandable prose with a host of interesting illustrations, the book demonstrates the folly and potential dangers of superstitions and pseudosciences such as astrology. The author then explains how scientists test ideas against reality, conduct experiments, establish theories and how the great discoveries of the past have shaped our modern world. In doing so, he introduces young readers to the fundamentals of astronomy, probability theory and statistics and he underscores the importance of scientific knowledge to the well-being and future of a free society. Ruchlis concludes with an honest look at the environmental problems created by industrial society and discusses how all of us can work toward realistic solutions through rational, scieintific means.
Hy Ruchlis is a former adjunct professor of science education at Farleigh Dickinson University and the author of 27 books including Clear Thinking and Wonder of Light.