# Steps scientists use to answer questions and solve problems

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Steps scientists use to answer questions and solve problems
Scientific Methods Steps scientists use to answer questions and solve problems

Solving a Problem Ask Question (Problem) Gather Information
State Hypothesis Design Experiment Make Observations Collect and Analyze Data Form Conclusions Retest (validate)

Solving a Problem

Ask a Question How does fertilizer affect the growth rate of plants?
scientists notice something in their natural world Example: Does fertilizer make plants grow taller?

Make Observations Gathered using the 5 senses
Record what happens during the experiment in your lab notebook Use black or blue ink The information you write down is called data Example: My neighbors’ plants are taller than my plants. He uses fertilizer and I do not.

State a Hypothesis A suggested solution to the problem
Must be testable Sometimes written as If…Then statement Predicts an outcome Example: If plants are grown using fertilizer, then they will grow taller.

Design an Experiment A procedure to test the hypothesis
set up an experiment testing different amounts of fertilizer on plants & measuring the growth (height) of the plants must contain variables and controls may have many controlled factors can only change one variable

Design an Experiment Controls factors that are kept constant
not being tested! examples: amount of water, type of soil, amount of sunlight, type of fertilizer act as a standard of comparison should not effect the outcome of the experiment

Design an Experiment Variables 2 types 1- dependent variable
The effect of _____________ on _____________ Design an Experiment INDEPENDENT Variables 2 types 1- dependent variable what you measure in the experiment unpredictable change: we don’t know how it will change until we do the experiment graph on Y-axis height of plants 2- independent variable manipulated variable predictable change: it only changes because we chose how it would change the more trials… the better graph on X-axis amount of fertilizer DEPENDENT The effect of _____________ on _____________ Amount of Fertilizer Height of Plants

Collect and Analyze Data
May be organized into charts, graphs, tables 2 types of data Quantitative Expressed mathematically numbers Qualitative Descriptive nature words, feelings

How’s a critter to choose?
Analyze Data What does your data show Graphs line graphs graphing data that shows continuous change bar graphs (or histograms) graphing data that is in disconnected groups

Examples of experiments
What’s the favorite drink of students? we set up an experiment surveying students and asking which is their favorite drink : dependent variable (Y-axis)? number of students independent variable (X-axis)? type of drink The effect of _____________ on _____________ Type of Drink How many students chose it

Which drink do you like best?
number Coke 1 Pepsi Water 4 Iced tea Gatorade 3 6 Bar graph! 5 4 number of students 3 2 Red Bull? 1 Coke RB Pepsi RB water tea Gatorade type of drink

elevation (feet above sea level)
How does elevation affect temperature? Line graph! elevation (feet above sea level) temp. (°C) 30 500 25 1000 20 1500 15 2000 10 2500 5 30 25 20 18 temperature 15 10 1200 ft? 5 500 1000 1200 1500 2000 2500 elevation

Form Conclusions Answer to the hypothesis based on the data obtained during the experiment Check for bias In order to verify the results, experiments must be Retestedvalid! Communicate results Scientists publish work in journals

Any Questions??

Examples of experiments
How does exercise affect heart rate of 10th grade student? we set up an experiment testing different lengths of time of exercise (minutes) on the heart rate of students: dependent variable (Y-axis)? heart rate independent variable (X-axis)? minutes of exercise The effect of _____________ on _____________ Exercise Heart Rate