Northern Science

Chapter 3



When shapes, sounds, motions, conditions occur over and over in the same way they form a pattern. We find them everywhere. There are patterns in clothing, patterns in buildings, patterns in people's behavior, patterns in ways of doing things, patterns in seasons.


We feel comfortable when we find patterns because we can safely predict what is coming next. When we get depressed in the middle of the winter, we can be encouraged because we know the pattern. Spring is coming!

When we look in our cache and see that it is almost empty, we don't worry, because we know the pattern. The fish will return in June.


When I build a house, I am not anxious because I know the pattern that is used for building with logs or framing. The plans might be different from anything I have ever seen, but the pattern of building is always the same.

This book is filled with patterns. Some will be obvious. Others will be much harder to find. Science is wonderful because it is full of patterns. We can often predict what will happen from what we know of the past.

If an experiment has demonstrate that a rough surface on a tire provides good traction, we can predict that a rough surface on the soles of boots will provide good footing when walking on icy mountains.

If an experiment has shown that damp gloves conduct heat away from your hands, we can predict that wet insulation in a house will also cause a great heat loss.


As we learn a new job, we learn the patterns of the job. Knowing the patterns of a job makes it much easier. We know what is coming next.

In some work, like cannery work, we follow one pattern all day long, and it is boring. Other jobs, like mechanics, have more patterns to follow, and are more challenging. However, the patterns are similar from one chainsaw to the other. One may have been built in Sweden, one in Germany, one in Canada, and one in the U.S., but they will all be basically the same. Finding work patterns helps in all jobs.

Your teacher has many activities that will help you discover patterns in places you never considered.


Do these questions after doing the activities with your teacher.

1. Pretend that you have a visitor who comes from a country on the equator where there aren't four seasons. Explain the pattern of seasons to him.

2. List five things that follow patterns.

3. Draw a circular schedule that shows your normal school day. Try to let the portions of the circle represent the amount of time you spend in each activity.

4. What patterns do you see on all snowmachines?

5) What are the advantages and disadvantages of jobs that are routine, like cannery work?

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