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I Have Einstein's Rules Clear

left hand print The primary goal of NASA's Neurolab mission is to use good science to answer good questions. If you can remember, "(I ) (H)ave (E)instein's (R)ules (C)lear" you'll never forget the steps to good science. Let's start with (I). (I) stands for Inquire or ask a question. Some of the questions being asked by the Neurolab principle investigators are:
* Does melatonin help astronauts sleep better?
* Why is it harder to catch a ball in space?
right hand print
Next we have (H). It stands for Hypothesis or educated guess. After forming a question, scientists will use everything they know about their question to predict what will happen. Sometimes this can involve years of research and study. This prediction is called the Hypothesis and will help determine how the experiment is designed.

(E) stands for Experiment. After a good question has been asked, it's time to make a step by step plan and follow it in order to see if the Hypothesis is correct. Neurolab experiments are especially hard to design because of the unique conditions in space. Special equipment must be engineered to insure the safety of all animals and people involved. It's even harder to make sure this special equipment functions properly since the low gravity of space can only be simulated on Earth.

(R) stands for Results or what happened. The experiments on Neurolab will generate a lot of data. Data refers to what is measured in the experiment. The number of hours slept by an astronaut or the amount of weight gained by a rat are examples of data. Both the astronauts and scientists on Earth will carefully observe and record the necessary data for each experiment.

Finally, we have (C) for Conclusion. Once Neurolab returns to Earth, scientists can look at the data from each experiment. They will try to understand and explain what happened in their experiment. This is called the conclusion. The conclusions drawn from the Neurolab experiments will help us understand more about the nervous system and the brain, how they develop and function, and will hopefully improve life in space and here on Earth.

In this experiment you used yourself as a human study subject. The astronauts are also human study subjects in some life science experiments.

Demonstrating inquiry as described at left

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