The mental picture I get when someone says they are learning about science is of someone reading scientific information and/or hearing lectures on scientific topics. The person might be able to follow what they are reading or hearing, but it is quite likely that they may have gaps in their learning. The idea of “figuring out how or why” suggests to me that the student is taking on a more active role in learning about the topic. The shift to the Next Generation Science Standards encourages teachers to find ways for students to figure things out instead of always feeding them the information and expecting them to memorize it without completely understanding it. The idea of “figuring it out” is included in this section on How Students Learn Science because being or becoming a scientist involves making observations, questioning, experimenting, and documenting those results to discover how and why something is the way it is or does the things it does. There are documented results that support the idea of “figuring it out”. According to an article I read about a school in Tucson, Arizona implementing science notebooks in their classrooms, they discovered that they were able to monitor their students thought processes as they were “figuring it out”.