Using Scientific Tools

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11917

You probably use tools every day, even if you aren't a builder or an electrician! Your house is filled with tools, even in the kitchen! Scientists use many of the same tools you use! Find out more!


Scientific Method, Scientific Method

learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • When you think of tools, do you picture hammers, saws, wrenches, and other items you may have seen carpenters and plumbers use?
  • What kind of tools do scientists use?

Scientists are everywhere!

They are working hard to cure diseases, create inventions, and change the world through scientific exploration.

  • Did you know scientists use some of the same tools you may have at home?

It's true! They use all kinds of tools that you can use, too.

To learn about the different tools you will see in this lesson, listen and sing along to the song MEASURING TOOLS IN SCIENCE SONG by Heath from teachheath:

  • Did you recognize any of the tools in the song?
  • Which tools have you used before?

Scientists use tools that can help them measure and collect data.

First, you will start with a tool with which you are probably familiar.

Thermometers are tools that are used for measuring temperature. Temperature can be measured in degrees Celsius and degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Which one do you use?

Scientists use thermometers in many ways. They can use them to tell the temperature outside, tell what someone's body temperature is, and track how temperatures change over time.

If you have a thermometer in your learning space, find it and check the temperature.


There are many measuring tools that can tell you how long, wide, or tall something is.

Rulers, tape measures, and yardsticks are all tools that can be used to measure.

  • Have you used any of these tools before?
  • What did you use them for?

Scientists use measuring devices in many ways.

For example, if a scientist wanted to see how long a frog's legs are as it grows, the scientist can use a ruler to measure the length of the frog's legs. Every time the scientist measures the frog's legs, this data should be written down.

Any time a scientist ever collects data (information), it is important to write down the new information and the date when the information was collected. Great scientists always keep all of their data in order!

If you need to study more about how to record data, check out our lesson found under Additional Resources in the right-hand sidebar.

measuring tape

A scale can be used to find out how much something weighs. You can use the first scale pictured to measure your weight, and you can use the second scale to compare the weight of two different objects.

Scientists use scales to measure the weight of people, animals, and objects.

Another tool that nearly everyone on the planet uses is a device that is used to measure time. Analog clocks, digital clocks, and stopwatches can be used to record time.

Scientists use these tools to measure time, too. For example, if a scientist wanted to measure how long it takes for a cheetah to run across a football field, the scientist could use a stopwatch to measure the time it takes for the cheetah to cross the field.

  • Why is it important for you to know what time it is?
  • How does it help you during the day?


The last science tool you will learn about in this lesson can be used to measure ingredients.

Measuring cups and measuring spoons can be used to measure ingredients. These are tools many people use while cooking. Scientists use these tools to measure ingredients for experiments.

  • What do you use measuring cups and spoons for?

measuring cups

That's quite a handful of tools scientists use for measurement!

  • Are you ready to start using these tools?

Fantastic! Before moving on to the Got It? section, say out loud three examples of tools scientists use.

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