The Scientific Method

The Scientific Method

The Scientific Method Scientific Method Problem solving in a scientific way. Follows a specific pattern of steps.

State what it is you are trying to figure out in the form of a question. (identify the problem) (purpose) Research what others have already discovered about this. Gather information that will help you form a good hypothesis and design a good experiment. Make an EDUCATED guess to answer the question (problem). This must be based on your research and must be testable.

Design and carry out an experiment that will determine if your hypothesis is valid or not. You must be certain to consider all possible variables and control them properly. It should be repeated at least twice. Organize the data collected in the experiment and perform calculations. Charts, graphs, averages, percentages, etc. What were the possible sources of error?

Answer your question with the data you collected. Was your hypothesis supported or not? What would you do differently? What other experiments could be done? Question What you are trying to find out? Also called PURPOSE or Identify the

problem. Stated in the form of a question. Research Gather information about the problem that will help you make a good hypothesis and design a good experiment. Stay focused on your question. Hypothesis

An educated guess. A prediction that can be tested A single experiment can never prove that something is always true, but it could prove that it is not always true. Based on research

You should always be able to give reasons why you chose your hypothesis Variables Different factors that can change in an experiment.

It is very important that you only allow one variable to change when conducting an experiment. Why? Independent Variable The thing you are testing. The one and only variable you will allow to change. Control

What you will compare your results to. Usually just the absence of the Independent Variable. Constants The variables that you dont allow to change.

What you keep the same in each test. Dependent Variable What you measure to compare the results of your tests. Should be able to be charted or graphed. Recording Data

Very careful record keeping is important for valid results Use charts or tables to organize data. Run trial tests before the real experiment to help work out bugs. Record measurements as well as observations about things you want to remember about what happened. Analyze the Results

What are your results? Create charts, tables, and graphs to represent all of your data. Perform any calculations that will help you determine what the results mean. Averages, Percentages, Totals

What are you possible sources of error (things that could make your results wrong). Draw Conclusions What is the answer to the question based on your results? Was your hypothesis supported? Why or why not?

If you did this experiment again, what would you do differently? What other experiments could you do to further test this. Non-Valid Results

Results based on opinions rather than data. From drawing conclusions that dont logically follow from the evidence. You over-generalize (make a rule based on just a few observations). Your sample size is too small or biased. You dont have a control. Scientific Theory

An explanation of something based upon scientific knowledge that is the result of many observations and experiments. It is not a guess or someones opinion. If data collected from several experiments over a period of time all support the hypothesis, it finally can be called a theory. Theories can change as new knowledge is gained from additional experiments. Scientific Law

A scientific law is a statement about how things work in nature that seems to be true all the time. They are less likely to change than theories. Laws tell you what will happen under certain conditions but do not necessarily explain why it happened.

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