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# Science word problem solving steps

## by Lorie Moffat, Educator at Home on Feb 17, 2011

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Steps to solve science-related word problems.

Steps to solve science-related word problems.

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## Science word problem solving stepsPresentation Transcript

• Science Word Problem Solving Steps Step-by-Step Procedure to Solve algebraic Science Problems
• Problem Example
• Here is a typical word problem based on a familiar concept.
• What is the area of a surface that is 2 meters long and 1.5 meters wide?
• Step One
• From the problem, list what you already know (the knowns ). Include variable , number and unit for each term.
• In this example, what is given?
• Length = 2 meters
• Width = 1.5 meters
• Knowns: l = 2m w = 1.5m
• Step Two
• List what you are solving for as “?” and a unit ( unknown ).
• We are calculating area in this example.
• Unknown: Area = ? square meters
• Unknown: A = ? m 2
• Step Three
• What formula do we need for this problem?
• Write the appropriate formula based upon knowns and unknown
• In this example, the formula we need is Area = Length x width
• A = lw
• Step Four (if needed)
• Rewrite the formula to solve it for the unknown, if necessary.
• The example doesn’t need rewritten. We are already solving for area.
• If the unknown was length, we would rewrite the formula, solving for length
• l = A/w
• Step Five
• Put the knowns (numbers and units) in formula
• For this example A = (2m)(1.5m)
• Step Six
• Solve the formula, including units with the answer
• For the example Area = 3.0 m 2
• A = 3.0m 2
• This method works for most of the numeric science problems you will encounter, especially ones which involve applying formulas to equations.