The Scientific Method Science is a methodical approach to learning about the world around us .
Steps of the scientific method
S TATE THE PROBLEM
C ONDUCT RESEARCH
M AKE OBSERVATIONS & RECORD
E XPRESS CONCLUSIONS
The Scientific method is a SCHEME for doing science
State the Problem
The P roblem is a scientific question to be solved. It is normally found by:
Observing- using your senses and prior knowledge
Researcing- reviewing previous studies.
Example: “ Why are fish dying in the lake?”
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.
Collecting information is done by researching 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 .
A hypothesis is an idea about the solution to a problem, based on knowledge and research – an educated guess .
“ If salt is added then it will cause the food to cook faster.”
Your experiment should be able to test the hypothesis .
Do use the information you collected in determining 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.
“ TESTING ” the Hypothesis
Know your “ variables ”
Independent (manipulated) variable: is the variable you or the
scientist purposely manipulate ( change ). Ex . Adding salt
Dependent (responding) variable: is the variable that changes in
response to the independent variable Exp: water temp .
Controlled (constants) variables: are variables that are not changed .
Ex . Amount of water used, applying same amount of heat
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)
Do’s 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, if possible.
Do have a control group .
Make observations of the experiment
Organize data- charts; graphs; tables; etc
Analyze the data
Evaluate and Conclude
In this step you create a s ummary of the results and a statement of how the results relate to the hypothesis .
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
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.