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Scientific Method
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Scientific Method


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  • 1. The Scientific Method Science is a methodical approach to learning about the world around us .
  • 2. Steps of the scientific method
    The Scientific method is a SCHEME for doing science
  • 3. Steps of the Scientific Method
    • Identify the p roblem , question , or a unique observation .
    • R esearch the problem.
    • Form a question and from there create a h ypothesis & make a prediction .
    • Test the hypothesis – e xperiment .
    • O bserve and record your results – analysis .
    • Arrive at a c onclusion or make a general rule – inductive or deductive.
  • 4. Problem
    • The P roblem is a scientific question to be solved. It is normally based on a problem that is:
      • Observed- using your senses and prior knowledge
      • Researched- reviewing previous studies.
    • “ Why do recipes tell you to add salt to boiling water ?”
    • Can be answered in a statement….. (usually an “if…then” statement is used)
    • “ If salt causes water to boil at a higher temperature, then it will cook
    • the food faster .”
    • Should be limited in it’s scope…..
    • “ We’re only researching the affects of salt . ”
    • Can be solved experimentally……
    • “ Observe the affects as salt is added to water that is at boiling
    • temperatures – under controlled conditions.
  • 5. Research
    • Research is the process of collecting information from your own experiences, knowledgeable sources, and data from exploratory experiments to help you understand the topic .
    • Do use many references from printed
    • sources— books, journals, magazines, and
    • newspapers—as well as electronic sources—
    • computer software and online services .
    • Do gather information from professionals—instructors, librarians,
    • and scientists, such as physicians and veterinarians .
  • 6. Hypothesis
    • A hypothesis is an idea about the solution to a problem, based on knowledge and research – an educated guess .
    • “ I think salt changes how the water affects the food. ”
    • Experimenting will be designed to test the hypothesis .
    • Do state facts from past experiences or observations on which
    • you base your hypothesis .
    • Do write down your hypothesis before beginning the project
    • experimentation. (Generally write the hypothesis in an “if… then statement).
    • “ If salt is added to boiling water then it will cause the food to cook faster”
    • Don't change your hypothesis even if experimentation does not
    • support it - that’s science! If time permits, repeat or redesign the
    • experiment to confirm your results.
  • 7. Experimentation
    • “ TESTING ” the Hypothesis
    • Know your “ variables ”
    • Independent (manipulated) variable: is the variable you purposely
    • manipulate ( change ). Ex . Adding salt
    • Dependent (responding) variable: is the variable that changes in
    • response to the independent variable – water temp .
    • Controlled (constants) variables: are variables that are not changed .
    • Ex . Amount of water used.
    • Control Group: A group that is tested in which the independent variable is not applied. It is used as the standard by which the test results can be compared (Exp: Boiling the water without the salt added)
  • 8. Experimentation
    • Does and Don’ts of Experimentation:
      • Do have only one independent variable during an experiment. All others must be controlled variables
      • Do repeat the experiment to verify your results.
      • Do have a control group.
      • Do have more than one control, with each being identical.
      • Do organize data.
  • 9. Observe and Record
    • Collect data
    • Organize data- charts; graphs; tables; etc
    • Analyze the data
    • Pay attention to detail
    • Interpretation and evaluation of results
    • Write the results in a clear and concise
    • manner so others can understand them
  • 10. Conclusion
    • After recording the results of the experimentation, you need a s ummary of the results and a statement of how the results relate to the hypothesis . Remember :
    • * If your results do not support your hypothesis (refutes) :
    • DON'T leave out experimental results that do not support your hypothesis.
    • DON'T change your hypothesis.
    • DO give possible reasons for the difference between your hypothesis and the experimental results.
    • DO give ways that you can experiment further to find a solution .
    • * If your results support your hypothesis: Reward yourself!
  • 11. Conclusion
    • When writing a conclusion make sure to include the following:
      • Statements on how the results of the experiment related to your hypothesis (whether it was supported or refuted)
      • Explanations as to why the experimental results were achieved
      • Other hypotheses that can be made based on the experimental results
      • Any experimental flaws in your experiment
  • 12. Theory vs. Law
    • Theory - an explanation of things or events based on many observations and investigations
    • Law - Statement about what happens in nature that seems to be true at all times.
      • Exp: Law of Gravity
      • Unlike theories…laws do NOT explain why.