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The Scientific Process

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Presentation on theme: "The Scientific Process"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Scientific Process
Monty Python Style


3 Examine closely the six objects in the picture below
Examine closely the six objects in the picture below. Take a few minutes to ponder the objects and write down some ideas of what they could be. Once you have a few ideas written down, click on the picture to find out what these mystery objects are.

4 Landmines

5 Landmines – The Problem
Antipersonnel mines and cluster munitions are indiscriminate weapons that injure and kill civilians in every corner of the globe, every day. They don't recognize ceasefires and claim victims long after the end of conflicts. They instill fear in communities and are a lethal barrier to development. To read more about the problem of landmines, click on the link below: Landmine Information

6 Problem Solving Take a few minutes to think about a solution to the problem of hundreds of thousands of landmines buried all over the world. How could these buried mines be discovered? Write down your ideas. As you are thinking, click on the links below to see images of the devastating effects of landmines on innocent people and animals.






12 Read about Mosha

13 Solutions? Now that you’ve had some time to think about solutions to the landmine problem and have written some down, continue onto to the next page and click on the link to investigate one idea to the solution.

14 A Maddening Solution Mad Cow Informational Video

15 A Working Solution Land Mine Solution

16 Solving Problems Creativity is an important component of successful science. A creative thinker researches questions that others have not considered. They propose new hypotheses and creativity is essential to the formation of useful experiments. Researchers frequently encounter problems with experimental designs and procedures. Successful scientists find creative solutions to these problems.

17 The Scientific Process
The scientific process is a method for experimentation that is used to explore observations , answer questions, and solve problems. Scientists use the scientific process to search for cause and effect relationships in nature. In other words, they design an experiment so that changes to one item cause something else to vary in a predictable way.


19 Scientific Process with Monty Python
Clicking on the link below will take you to a clip from the movie “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”. This scene depicts an investigator trying to establish if a woman is a witch or not. After watching the clip, move onto the next slide to analyze the scene. Monty Python Witch Scene

20 Witch Scene Analysis Answer each question using the Witch Scene as your guide – click on pictures for full analysis. What is the observation or problem that is presented to the soon-to-be Sir Bedevere?

21 Analysis Sir Bedevere is presented by the town’s people with a woman who they are accusing of being a witch. Sir Bedevere must figure out if the woman is in fact, a witch.

22 2. Identify the data that must be collected in order to establish a future experiment concerning the “problem”.

23 Analysis The data that must be collected is how much the woman weighs.

24 3. In order to use the data that has been collected in an experiment, the data must be evaluated (in this case, the data must be “witchworthy” when establishing the experiment). What data that has been collected could not be proven?

25 Analysis It is impossible to prove whether or not the woman had in fact turned one of the townspeople into a newt. His claim that “she turned me into a newt” can not be proven since the accuser admitted that “I got better”.

26 4. Is the reasoning that leads to the hypothesis sound or unsound
4. Is the reasoning that leads to the hypothesis sound or unsound? Explain.

27 Analysis The reasoning in this case is unsound. The argument identifies that (1) all witches are things that can burn, and (2)all things that can burn are made of wood, and finally, therefore, (3) all witches are made of wood. Although the argument that all witches are made of wood logically follows the first two ideas is logical the second idea is obviously false. Since the second idea is false, the reasoning is therefore unsound.

28 5. What hypothesis does the “mob” establish?

29 Analysis The mob reasons that if the woman weighs as much as a duck, she must be made of wood, and therefore she must be a witch.

30 Formal Hypotheses Formalized hypotheses contain two variables. One is "independent" and the other is "dependent." The independent variable is the one you, the "scientist" controls and the dependent variable is the one that you observe and/or measure the results.

31 What is the dependent variable?
Independent variable?

32 The dependent variable in an experiment is what is being measured
The dependent variable in an experiment is what is being measured. In this experiment, the dependent variable is therefore the weight of the witch. The independent variable in an experiment is the component that is controlled by the scientist. In this experiment, the independent variable is the duck.

33 Is this hypothesis testable?
Can an experiment be designed?

34 The hypothesis states “If she weighs as much as a duck, then she must be made of wood, and therefore she must be a witch” is testable. The woman’s weight must be compared to that of a duck. An experiment for this hypothesis can be created. The duck and the woman must be weighed and their weights compared to one another.

35 Data Data is said to be reliable if it is reproducible by both yourself and others. Reproducible means that if you keep repeating the same experiment then you keep getting the same answers. If you keep getting different answers then the data is not reliable and can't be used as evidence.

36 Is the experiment reliable? Explain.

37 This experiment is reliable under certain conditions
This experiment is reliable under certain conditions. If the duck and the woman are weighed repeatedly the results would remain the same of conditions are constant for the woman and the duck.

38 Evidence and Validity Valid means that the evidence is both reliable and relevant. Relevant means that the evidence gives you particular information about the thing you are investigating, not just any information. If you were investigating how a car moves or how a kite flies then evidence about its weight would be relevant but evidence about its color would not be relevant. Evidence which is reliable and valid can be used to make scientific statements about things which are correct. These statements are called conclusions.

39 Is the experiment valid? Explain

40 This experiment is not valid
This experiment is not valid. According to the unsound logic of Sir Bedevere, if the woman weighs as much as a duck then she must be made of wood. Nowhere in the experiment does it test to see if the woman is in fact made of wood. The fact that she may weigh the same as a duck has nothing to do with what she is made of, making the experiment invalid.

41 What is the result of the experiment?
Is this a conclusion? Explain

42 The woman weighs the same as a duck and therefore is condemned as witch and will suffer the fate of witches, burning. This result can not be a scientific conclusion. A conclusion must be based on evidence that is reliable and relevant. Since the evidence is not relevant, therefore the result is not valid, and therefore the conclusion that she is a witch is most definitely NOT a scientific conclusion.

43 The Scientific Process is simply a formalized method of problem solving. Identify the problem, ask a question, collect data, develop a hypothesis, create an experiment with independent and dependent variables, run the experiment, and reach a conclusion. Remember to follow sound reasoning, use data that is reliable and relevant, and you will reach scientific conclusion. Always keep in mind that just because something weighs as much as a duck does not mean it’s a witch. To test yourself, click to the next slide to begin a quick review exercise.

44 Scientific Process Review
A series of logical steps that is followed in order to solve a problem is called the A. experimental process. B. scientific process. C. scientific theory. D. model method.


46 The first step in the scientific method is usually
A. making an observation (ask a question) B. collecting data C. forming a hypothesis D. testing a hypothesis

47 Scientists test a hypothesis by
A. formulating questions B. doing experiments C. designing models D. drawing conclusions


49 A scientist gathers information on a daily basis regarding the growth of a plant over three weeks, these measurements are called A.inferences B. hypotheses C. variables D. data

50 What is usually the last step in the scientific method?
A. accumulate scientific data B. formulate a hypothesis C. conduct an experiment with a control group D. draw a conclusion on the basis of the experiment


52 The "scientific method" involves all of the following except
A. imagination and insight B. an educated guess C. a rigid set of logical steps D. a suspicion of what the truth might be

53 You are conducting an experiment to test the hypothesis that dairy cows will give more milk if they listen to classical music while being milked. Your 20 experimental cows listen to classical music during milking; you collect all their milk and measure how much there is. Your 20 control cows should have all experimental conditions identical to the experimental cows except A. they should listen to classical music at a louder volume B. they should listen to classical music all the time, not just during milking C. they should listen to a different type of music, like heavy metal D. they should not listen to any music E. they should not be milked



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