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Chapter 2

Two Plus Two Equals Hip-Hop icon

Science ideas come in different sizes ranging from technical details to big ideas to Awesome Ideas. This chapter introduces the Awesome Systems Idea explaining that systems have properties that are qualitatively different than their parts, which is why water does not explode, and 2 plus 2 can equal hip-hop.


  • Exploring Systems
    This exercise provides experience in thinking about, discussing, and analyzing systems. We use three systems questions: What are the parts of the system? How does the system function as a whole? How is the system part of larger systems?
  • Who Is Afraid of Dina the Monster Bee?
    Systems generally have properties that are QUALITATIVELY different than their parts. Even if you use the same kinds of parts to make the same kind of system, changing the scale (size) can make dramatic changes. That is one reason we care about the scale of systems, and the amazing range of sizes in our universe.


  • Photosynthesis Video
    This video includes van Helmont's experiment and an animation of photosynthesis.


  • Reading Skills for Science
    This is the science page of the Literacy Matters website, a project of the Education Development Center, Inc. The website has resources for teachers, parents, and students.
  • Systems in National Science Standards
    "Unifying Concepts and Processes" is the first heading in the content chapter of the National Science Education Standards. The very first of these unifying concepts is "Systems, order, and organization."

Just Kidding

Glindex Computer, page 26
When you hear the words pronounced in the Glindex part of this website, it is not a computer that has been programmed to sound like Dr. Art. It is Dr. Art?s real voice. Each time you click on a word to hear it, he has to stop everything he is doing to correctly pronounce the word and its definition for you.