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 Scientists use the scientific method to investigate natural occurrences and phenomena.  The scientific method is a way to go about solving a problem.

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Presentation on theme: " Scientists use the scientific method to investigate natural occurrences and phenomena.  The scientific method is a way to go about solving a problem."— Presentation transcript:

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2  Scientists use the scientific method to investigate natural occurrences and phenomena.  The scientific method is a way to go about solving a problem.  There are about six steps of the scientific method

3  The first step in this method is to ask a question.  Scientists make observations about the world around them, and with these observations, they form questions.  This question can be solved with experimentation.  Often scientists will also do research to find out more about there observations.

4  Have real answers.  Often the answer is “yes” or “no”.  Are testable.  You could design an experiment or take measurements to find answers.  Have a hypothesis that is falsifiable.  This means your experiment could show that your hypothesis (and that is okay!).  Are interesting!  Based on prior knowledge.  Can lead to other good questions.

5  When asking a question, it is important we ask it in a particular way.  It is worded so that we find out what we are trying to learn.  An example of this would be “How does the color of a light bulb affect the growth of grass seeds?”  What are some examples you can give?

6  Are roses prettier flowers than tulips?  Can daisies grow in different types of soils?  How can we make cut flowers stay fresher for a longer period of time?

7  Andre and Marie love popcorn, but they don’t have much money to spend. They want to decide if more expensive brands of popcorn really pop better than others.

8  The next step is to form a hypothesis!  A hypothesis is essentially a prediction. It’s an educated guess about what you think will happen in an experiment.  How does the color of a light bulb affect the growth of grass seeds?  How would we form our hypothesis?

9  Our hypothesis should also be asked in a particular way.  “If I ….. (do something), then…. (this will occur)”.  For example, we could say “If I grow grass seeds under green light bulbs, then they will grow faster, than plants growing under red light bulbs.”

10  Your cat just had six kittens. There’s a new kitten chow on the market that claims to be healthier for young kittens. Your family has raised kittens before and fed them a different brand of food. You’d like to find out for yourself.

11  How does the type of water (salt water vs. fresh water) affect the rate at which it will freeze?  How does the type of music (jazz, classical, or rock) affect the time it will take to quiet a crying baby?

12  Independent variable: This is the part of your experiment that you will test (vary) to answer your hypothesis.  In our example, the independent variable would be the different colors of the light bulbs.

13  The dependent variable is what occurs in response to the changing independent variable… It depends on the IV.  In our grass seed example, the dependent variable would be how much the grass seeds grow.

14  The control should be the part of the experiment where you do not include the independent variable.  It is used as a COMPARISON!  In our example, grass seed growing under the white (uncolored) bulb would be your control. The control lets you compare results in an experiment.

15  How does the type of water (salt water vs. fresh water) affect the rate at which it will freeze?  Independent Variable:  Dependent Variable:  Control group:  How does the type of music (jazz, classical, or rock) affect the time it will take to quiet a crying baby?  Independent Variable:  Dependent Variable:  Control group:

16  Example: At-risk children who attend Head Start get better grades in reading in second grade.  Independent Variable:  Dependent Variable:  Control group:  Example: Plants that get regular water grow taller.  Independent Variable:  Dependent Variable:  Control group:

17  Example: Athletes who do not get enough sleep the night before will not run as fast the next day.  Independent Variable:  Dependent Variable:  Control group:  Example: Puppies that are given vitamins gain more weight.  Independent Variable:  Dependent Variable:  Control group:

18  1: Ask a question-How does ____ affect ____?  Where should our Independent and Dependent variables go?  2: Make a hypothesis- If _____, then _____.  Where should our Independent and Dependent variables go? Control group?

19  This is the fun part! Design a test or procedure to find out if your hypothesis is correct. In our example, you would set up grass seeds under a green light bulb and seeds under a red light bulb and observe each for a couple of weeks.  It’s very important to write down exactly what you do for your experiment, step by step. This is called a protocol.

20  We write a protocol so that others will be able to replicate an experiment if they choose to do so.  Scientists write protocols so that other scientists may peer review their work.  A well-written protocol will allow others to successfully replicate the results of your experiment.

21  A constant is anything we keep consistent in our experiment.  For example, although we are changing the color of the light bulbs, we would keep the wattage the same.  What are some examples of other constants for our grass seed experiment?  For our fry experiment?

22  This is what makes science, science! Writing it down!  We make observations about what is happening in our experiment.  This includes our protocol, and lists of required equipment and instruments necessary for the experiment.

23  Qualitative data  Describes and characterizes  Example: The pill bugs moved to the dark area in the container.  Example: The color of the background was purple.  Quantitative data  Numbers, values, measurements  Example: 16 pill bugs moved to the dark area in the container.  Example: Three of the pill bugs were active for 24 seconds during 1 minute.

24  When you do experimental analysis, you are looking at what happened during your experiment. You’ve been collecting data; now it’s time to analyze it!  Through data analysis, we can make conclusions about our hypothesis.  Use graphs and data tables to organize your data and draw conclusions.

25  In order to have a conclusion, you must review your information and data to check and see if your hypothesis is correct.  In our example, if the grass under the green light bulb grew faster, then we can assume our hypothesis was correct, and begin performing multiple tests.  It’s not “bad” if your hypothesis is wrong!

26  After we have finished analyzing the data and have formed a conclusion, we can share our results with other scientists!  This is how scientists share with others, in a process called peer review. Other scientists try to take what one has done, and replicate it successfully.


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