2 Stating the ProblemThe first step in applying the scientific method is to see that there is a problem or situation that you want to know more about. This is the “How come…?” or “Why…?” reaction.
3 Gathering Information Before a scientist begins designing an experiment to answer the problem, research into the topic is completed. Any related experiments are studied. The subject of the query is researched thoroughly.
4 Forming a HypothesisAfter careful study of the topic, the scientist is able to make a guess to answer the “How come?” or “Why?” This is often in the form of an “If…, then…” statement. This makes it testable.
5 ExperimentingThe experiment is set up so that the “If” of the hypothesis is carried out to see if the “then” part will occur. If it does, then the hypothesis will be supported. If it does not, the hypothesis is disproved.
6 When Experiments Go Wrong It is very important that the ONLY factor that influences the outcome of an experiment is the factor being tested – or the variable. Scientists always include a control so that they can verify that the thing that they changed is the cause of the outcome.
7 Two types of VariablesIfManipulated Variable – you CHANGE this one thingResponding Variable – the outcome, or what you measure to see if the part you changed made a difference.Then
8 Recording and Analyzing Data As the experiment is happening, the scientist will write down exactly what occurs. These can be quantitative or qualitative data. At the end of the testing period, data is customarily placed into graphs or charts to make it clear.
9 Types of DataQuantitative: these are verifiable, hard data; normally includes metric measurementsQualitative: these are subjective observations based on the senses that describe qualities; how things “look, feel, taste, smell, or sound”
10 Stating a ConclusionAfter studying the data that was collected, the scientist can arrive at a conclusion based on what occurred in the experiment. In many cases, the conclusion of one experiment will recommend that further experiments be conducted to replicate the results or to gather further data.