# FAQ ~ Problem of the Week

Both Physics and Biology are subjects that utilizes your higher order thinking and problem solving skills.

• The POW (Problem of the Week) exercises are designed to make you think. The "point(s)" will be added into the homework/ classwork category of your grades.

• Sometimes you may struggle with them, but the thinking exercise helps to train your brain to use critical thinking and reasoning solve the problems.*

• Please remember to answer the POW (Problem of the Week) on our  Website.  EVERY Thursday at 6:30 am.

• You MAY complete & submit the assignment at ANY time prior to the due date.

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What are higher order thinking and problem solving skills?

Critical thinking is an intellectual skill that we educators are giving stress on these days.  It is the skill that is very important for out student to posses in-order to seamlessly blend in the job's which don't even exist today.  It is very important for parents and student to understand the component of this skill set so that I can fully focus on these skill in our classroom.

Teaching kids how to think critically is an integral part of my teaching approach because:

• Memorizing is not learning
• To think is to learn
• If you think poorly, you will learn poorly
• Thinking gives us a wider perspective about things
• Thinking gives us the power to reflect and monitor his own learning
• Thinking gives us the power to express our well supported thoughts and opinions
• Thinking helps to uncover biases and prejudices
• It is a path to freedom of expression
• Thinking enable us to differentiate between facts and opinions
• Thinking gives us the courage to say “I don’t know” and thus help us to be ready to learn and modify our existing opinions.
• Thinking enable us to make assertion based on logic and evidence.
• Thinking gives us the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking
• Thinking helps us to evaluate and improve our creative ideas.

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# Logical Reasoning

Logic has you thinking with reason and arguments (statements). Scientists use logic because it shows the relationships between the parts of an idea and the whole idea. Therefore, if you use logic, you can see a relationship between a few trees and the entire forest. On the other hand, if we talk about biology, if you understand how animals interact with each other then you are able to better understand the whole ecosystem.

The scientific method is a rational, logical thought process that is used to figure out facts and truths. All of the answers must be able to be proved. When someone comes up and says, "Hey! I figured out the answer!" the other scientists can get together, see what the new person did, and then they repeat the procedures. If they come up with the same answer, everybody is happy. If the answer is different, someone did something wrong and everyone starts all over again.

There are no opinions that are considered scientific laws. To scientists, the truth is something that is quantitative. Quantitative statements are ones that can be proved through experiments. When someone has an opinion, or an idea that can't be proved directly, they call it a qualitative argument.

Deductive Reasoning

Deductive reasoning has you starting with information or an idea that is called apremise. Eventually you come up with conclusions that are based on your original premise. Sherlock Holmes, that detective guy from the books, uses deductive reasoning to solve mysteries. Think of it this way:

(1) If this happens...
(2) and this happens...
(3) then you can come to this conclusion. If the premises are true, then your conclusion should also be true.

Inductive Reasoning
Inductive reasoning works in the opposite direction. You start by having a number of observations. "I see that." "That happens here." "I believe that this will happen just like the others because the circumstance is similar."

It is a process in two parts. First you start with specifics and come up with a theory. That's deductive. When you apply that theory to new areas, it is inductive reasoning. You organize data into categories and say, "What do these have in common?"

There is a problem with inductive reasoning: your conclusions have more information than the facts you use. You start with dozens of observed examples, take an inductive leap, and assume millions of possible examples. If the conclusion is true, then new premises and assumptions are true.

Logic Took a Long Time to Refine
We don't want you to think all of these theories of logic happened overnight. Logic and reasoning have evolved over thousands of years. The ideas are still the same, but the methods have been documented and examined. Scientists are now able to take the ideas they have developed and apply them to new computer systems. You may have heard of Artificial Intelligence and fuzzy logic. Computers that use those methods of analysis are doing amazing things.

Back in the beginning, there was a guy in ancient Greece who started writing down a lot of these ideas. His name was Aristotle. He didn't invent this way of thinking; people had been using logic forever. Aristotle was just the first guy to start writing down the ideas and rules of what makes something a logical process.

Syllogistic Reasoning
Aristotle described something called syllogistic reasoning. A syllogism is an argument. Arguments are statements used when you describe things with logic. There are four different types of syllogistic arguments.

(1) All A's are B's (universal affirmative)
(2) No A's are B's (universal negative)
(3) Some A's are B's (particular affirmative)
(4) Some A's are not B's (particular negative)

If you look at these statements, they all start with the basic idea that A (a thing) exists. You can't make any of those four statements if A does not exist or is not true.

As logic has evolved, modern logic has changed the first statement to say, "If something is A, then it is also B." It can get a bit confusing. For many scientists, logic is a completely separate branch of science and philosophy. Don't worry if you don't get it from our quick overview. Try this example.

(1) All cats are animals (universal affirmative)
(2) No cats are plants (universal negative)
(3) Some animals are cats (particular affirmative)
(4) Some animals are not cats (particular negative)

Each of these arguments (statements) is true and they all are examples of the four different types of syllogistic arguments.

~~~~ From: http://www.biology4kids.com/files/studies_logic.html ~~~~