hypothesis question Scientists use experiments to test a hypothesis or answer a question
Parts of an Experiment QUESTION/PROBLEM What question is being answered, problem solved, or hypothesis tested. For example, “How many drops of water fit on a penny?” Or, how does the side of a penny affect how many drops of water it can hold?
There are two groups in a controlled experiment: Control Group 1) Control Group: the part of the experiment that is left alone or “natural”. Used to compare back to.
There are two groups in a controlled experiment: Experimental Group: 2) Experimental Group: the part of the experiment in which a factor or variable is changed.
Controlled variables (constants): NOT factors in an experiment that are NOT changed.
Manipulated (independent) variable: changed factors in an experiment that are changed. ONEGood experiments have only ONE manipulated variable.
Responding Responding (dependent) variable: measuring the factor that you are measuring.
Hypothesis An educated guess about the results. Always support your idea with a reason! (I think that…because…) What are some hypotheses you can come up with about the penny? Write yours down! Parts of an Experiment
Materials: Items used during the experiment. What would we need for the penny experiment? Write yours down… Parts of an Experiment
Procedures Procedures: Steps followed during experiment. –Write in a numbered list –Should be detailed enough that anyone can follow exactly what you did. –How many times you are going to do the experiment? It should be written here! Parts of an Experiment
Practice Work with your tablemate to practice writing out a procedure for testing the penny experiment Be specific!
Observations/Data: All the information gathered while performing the experiment. Now, do the experiment! Record your data in the table. Parts of an Experiment
Results/Conclusions: Analyze your data to determine the final outcome of the experiment What do you NOW believe as a result of the experiment or observations? Restate your hypothesis (or at least relate your findings to it) Support your claim with at least 2 pieces of data Use good explanatory language Parts of an Experiment
Practice Conclusion Write oneWhat should our conclusion be about how many drops of water a penny can hold? Write one for your experiment, using the above guidelines:
Share your results: Publish your findings so that others may benefit from your work. Parts of an Experiment
Observations Observations: eventsDescription of objects, events May include data from all five senses (touch/texture, smell, taste, sight, sound) Could be drawings, diagrams, written words opinionsDo not include opinions.
Inferences conclusionsDrawing conclusions based on observations reasonOften provide a reason for the event/object being observed.
Scientific Method Page (Joe & The Birthday Cake)
Lay people often misinterpret the language used by scientists. And for that reason, they sometimes draw the wrong conclusions as to what the scientific terms mean. Three such terms that are often used interchangeably are "scientific law," "hypothesis," and "theory." In layman’s terms, if something is said to be “just a theory,” it usually means that it is a mere guess, or is unproved. It might even lack credibility. But in scientific terms, a theory implies that something has been proven and is generally accepted as being true.
hypothesisMore like a scientific law than a hypothesis. Explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses. multipleVerified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. One scientist cannot create a theory, he/she can only create a hypothesis. The theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, and the quantum theoryExamples: The theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, and the quantum theory.
explainA statement of fact meant to explain, in concise terms, an action or set of actions. alwaysGenerally accepted to be true and universal, and can sometimes be expressed in terms of a single mathematical equation. Scientific laws are similar to mathematical postulates. They don’t really need any complex external proofs; they are accepted at face value based upon the fact that they have always been observed to be true. ExamplesThe law of gravity,Examples: The law of gravity, the law of thermodynamicsthe law of thermodynamics.
trueBoth a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. predictionsBoth are used to make predictions of events. technologyBoth are used to advance technology.
A theory is much more complex and dynamic. actionA law governs a single action, whereas a theory explains a whole series of related phenomena.
slingshotautomobileAn analogy can be made using a slingshot and an automobile. A scientific law is like a slingshot. A slingshot has but one moving part-- the rubber band. If you put a rock in it and draw it back, the rock will fly out at a predictable speed, depending upon the distance the band is drawn back.
An automobile has many moving parts, all working in unison to perform the chore of transporting someone from one point to another point. An automobile is a complex piece of machinery. Sometimes, improvements are made to one or more component parts. A new set of spark plugs that are composed of a better alloy that can withstand heat better, for example, might replace the existing set. But the function of the automobile as a whole remains unchanged.
A theory is like the automobile. Components of it can be changed or improved upon, without changing the overall truth of the theory as a whole.
Excerpted from http://wilstar.net/science/http://wilstar.net/science/