Mystery Boxes

Mystery Boxes
Mystery Boxes

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Mystery Boxes


      Mystery boxes are used as an analogy for science where scientists manipulate sealed boxes and attempt to determine inner contents. The boxes are used to illustrate how scientific knowledge is fundamentally uncertain (Matthews, 2006). The essay in the form of a data chart, illustrates how two individuals, a scientist and a partner, observed a sealed mystery box and came up with the assumptive conclusion as to what the inner structures are.

Data Chart

Observation1. When lifted, the box is relatively light suggesting the object is not dense. 2. When the box is tilted, objects move with ease from one corner to another. This precludes the objects are not arranged in a fixed manner. 3. Upon shaking the box, objects produced a discreet clanking sound which suggests it is a small metal object.  
ConclusionFrom the above observations, I came to the conclusion the objects are metallic most likely small nuts judging from the ease of movement and the sound made when they are struck against each other.
Observation1. From initial observation of the box, small and compact, assumption is that the objects inside must be relatively small. 2. On lifting the box, observation is that it is light and almost weightless. This affirms the latter presumption that the object is small. 3. Upon tilting and shaking the box, objects hit against each other producing a distinct sound akin to small marbles.  
ConclusionFrom the above observations, I came to the conclusion that the objects in the mystery box are most likely marbles. Particularly, this is with regard to the light weight, how the item moves and distinct sound made when moved.
After analyzing both observations tabled, conclusion arrived at is that the objects in the mystery box are small and metal like, most likely to be either a nut or a marble.


Matthews, B. (2006). Engaging Education: Developing Emotional Literacy, Equity and Co-education. London: Open University Press.

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