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Scientific Method. What is Science Science What is science? What is science? begins with curiosity and often ends with discovery begins with curiosity.

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Presentation on theme: "Scientific Method. What is Science Science What is science? What is science? begins with curiosity and often ends with discovery begins with curiosity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scientific Method

2 What is Science Science What is science? What is science? begins with curiosity and often ends with discovery begins with curiosity and often ends with discovery is a system of knowledge and the methods you use to find that knowledge is a system of knowledge and the methods you use to find that knowledge

3 Demo – Candle in a Jar Can you prove the existence of something invisible? Can you prove the existence of something invisible? What do you predict will happen if the jar is covered? What do you predict will happen if the jar is covered? What invisible substances did you assume in your explanation? What invisible substances did you assume in your explanation? Oxygen, carbon dioxide Oxygen, carbon dioxide

4 Steps in the Scientific Method Observation Observation Hypothesis Hypothesis Experiment Experiment Data Collection Data Collection Conclusion Conclusion Retest Retest

5 Observations Gathered through your senses Gathered through your senses A scientist notices something in their natural world A scientist notices something in their natural world

6 Observations An example of an observation might be noticing that many salamanders near a pond have curved, not straight, tails An example of an observation might be noticing that many salamanders near a pond have curved, not straight, tails Is information that you obtain through your senses Is information that you obtain through your senses

7 Hypothesis A suggested solution to the problem. A suggested solution to the problem. Must be testable Must be testable Sometimes written as If…Then… statements Sometimes written as If…Then… statements Predicts an outcome Predicts an outcome

8 Hypothesis An example of a hypothesis might be that the salamanders have curved tails due to a pollutant in the moist soil where they live. An example of a hypothesis might be that the salamanders have curved tails due to a pollutant in the moist soil where they live.

9 Experiment A procedure to test the hypothesis. A procedure to test the hypothesis.

10 Experiment Variable – factor in the experiment that is being tested

11 Experiment A good or “valid” experiment will only have ONE variable!

12 Scientific Experiments Follow Rules An experimenter changes one factor and observes or measures what happens.

13 The Control Variable The experimenter makes a special effort to keep other factors constant so that they will not effect the outcome. The experimenter makes a special effort to keep other factors constant so that they will not effect the outcome. Those factors are called control variables. Those factors are called control variables.

14 What is the Purpose of a Control? Controls are NOT being tested Controls are used for COMPARISON

15 Other Variables The factor that is changed is known as the independent variable. The factor that is measured or observed is called the dependent variable.

16 Example of Controls & Variables For example, suppose you want to figure out the fastest route to walk home from school. You will try several different routes and time how long it takes you to get home by each one. Since you are only interested in finding a route that is fastest for you, you will do the walking yourself.

17 What are the Variables in Your Experiment? Varying the route is the independent variable Varying the route is the independent variable The time it takes is the dependent variable The time it takes is the dependent variable Keeping the same walker throughout makes the walker a control variable. Keeping the same walker throughout makes the walker a control variable.

18 One more thing… it is best to make several trials with each independent variable.

19 Remember: To be a Valid Experiment: Two groups are required --- the control & experimental groups There should be only one variable

20 Data Results of the experiment May be quantitative (numbers) or qualitative

21 Data Must be organized Can be organized into charts, tables, or graphs

22 Conclusion The answer to the hypothesis based on the data obtained from the experiment

23 Retest In order to verify the results, experiments must be retested.

24 Solving a Problem 1)Identify a Problem 2) State Observations about the problem 3) Form a Hypothesis about the problem (if…then…) 4) Design an Experiment to test the hypothesis 5) Collect Data 6) Form a Conclusion 7) Retest REMEMBER: Really Quiet Hippos Eat Dark Chocolate Research; Question; Hypothesis; Experiment; Take Data; Form Conclusions

25 Scientific theory What is a theory? A well-tested explanation for a set of observations or experimental results Not the same as the way we use ‘theory’ in everyday language Are NEVER proven, but become stronger (or weaker) with new information Empirical evidence (by observation or experiment)

26 Scientific Law is a statement that summarizes a pattern observed in nature Describes an observed pattern in nature without attempting to explain i t (the explanation is given through a theory)


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