The Scientific MethodThe Scientific Method
Life Science – Module 2Life Science – Module 2
Scientific MethodScientific Method
What is the Scientific Method?What is the Scientific Method?
It is aIt is a processprocess that is used to findthat is used to find
answersanswers to questions about the worldto questions about the world
around us.around us.
Is there only one “scientific method”?Is there only one “scientific method”?
No, there are several versions of theNo, there are several versions of the
scientific method.scientific method.
Some versions have moreSome versions have more stepssteps, while, while
others may have only a few.others may have only a few.
However, they all begin with theHowever, they all begin with the
identification of aidentification of a problemproblem or aor a questionquestion
to be answered based on observations ofto be answered based on observations of
the world around us and provide anthe world around us and provide an
organizedorganized method for conducting andmethod for conducting and
analyzing an experiment.analyzing an experiment.
What is a hypothesis?What is a hypothesis?
It is anIt is an educated guesseducated guess based onbased on
observations and your knowledge of theobservations and your knowledge of the
What is data?What is data?
It isIt is informationinformation gathered during thegathered during the
Identify the ProblemIdentify the Problem
What do you want to know or explain?What do you want to know or explain?
Use observations you have made to write aUse observations you have made to write a
question that addresses the problem orquestion that addresses the problem or
topic you want to investigate.topic you want to investigate.
Form a HypothesisForm a Hypothesis
What do you think will happen? Predict theWhat do you think will happen? Predict the
answer to your question or the outcome ofanswer to your question or the outcome of
the experiment.the experiment.
Write it in a form of a statement!Write it in a form of a statement!
Create an ExperimentCreate an Experiment
How will you test your hypothesis? DevelopHow will you test your hypothesis? Develop
a procedure for a reliable experiment anda procedure for a reliable experiment and
address safety rules.address safety rules.
Perform an ExperimentPerform an Experiment
Follow the steps in your procedure toFollow the steps in your procedure to
perform your experiment. Record dataperform your experiment. Record data
and observations!and observations!
Analyze the DataAnalyze the Data
Is the data reliable? Does your data andIs the data reliable? Does your data and
observations from the experiment supportobservations from the experiment support
your hypothesis?your hypothesis?
If yes…If yes…
Communicate the ResultsCommunicate the Results
Write a conclusion that summarizes theWrite a conclusion that summarizes the
important parts of your experiment and theimportant parts of your experiment and the
If no…If no…
Is your data inaccurate or the experimentIs your data inaccurate or the experiment
Modify the ExperimentModify the Experiment
Rewrite your procedure to address the flawsRewrite your procedure to address the flaws
in the original experimentin the original experiment
Introduction to Science and theIntroduction to Science and the
Scientific MethodScientific Method
The goal of science is to investigate andThe goal of science is to investigate and
understand the natural world, to explainunderstand the natural world, to explain
events in the natural world, and to useevents in the natural world, and to use
those explanations to make usefulthose explanations to make useful
1.1. Science deals only with the natural world.Science deals only with the natural world.
2.2. Scientists collect and organize information in aScientists collect and organize information in a
careful, orderly way, looking for patterns andcareful, orderly way, looking for patterns and
connections between events.connections between events.
3.3. Scientists propose explanations that can beScientists propose explanations that can be
tested by examining evidencetested by examining evidence
4.4. Science is an organized way of using evidenceScience is an organized way of using evidence
to learn about the natural world.to learn about the natural world.
How is Science Done?How is Science Done?
1.1. Science begins with observations. ThisScience begins with observations. This
is the process of gathering informationis the process of gathering information
about events or processed in a careful,about events or processed in a careful,
orderly way.orderly way.
2.2. Data is the information gathered fromData is the information gathered from
making observations.making observations.
3.3. There are two types of data:There are two types of data:
a.a. Quantitative data are numbers and areQuantitative data are numbers and are
obtained by counting or measuring.obtained by counting or measuring.
b.b. Qualitative data are descriptions and involveQualitative data are descriptions and involve
characteristics that cannot be counted.characteristics that cannot be counted.
a. A hypothesis is a scientifica. A hypothesis is a scientific
explanation for a set of observationsexplanation for a set of observations
b. A hypothesis must be stated in a wayb. A hypothesis must be stated in a way
that makes it “testable”. The hypothesisthat makes it “testable”. The hypothesis
is just a possible answer to a question,is just a possible answer to a question,
and it must be thoroughly tested.and it must be thoroughly tested.
Scientific MethodsScientific Methods
The scientific method is a series of stepsThe scientific method is a series of steps
used by scientists to solve a problem orused by scientists to solve a problem or
answer a question.answer a question.
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.