The Scientific Method Mrs. Gergel
What is the scientific method?
The scientific method is normally described as the way scientists go about examining the physical world around them. No one uses just one scientific method every time. There are many versions of the scientific method, but in this class we will usually use DR. HERC
Dr. Herc We use Dr. Herc to help remember the most general steps of the scientific method. Those steps are: D – Define the Problem R – Research H – Hypothesis E – Experiment R – Results C – Conclusion
Define the Problem The first thing you must do during any scientific investigation is to figure out what the problem is. Some teachers will require this to be in the form of a question
Research After you have figured out what your problem is, you must research ways to solve it. Sample of research are: Reading the text book Finding sources on the internet Visiting the library Conducting interviews Making observations After you are done with your research, you must use that information to make inferences
Hypothesis This is your plan of action! It is usually stated in an “If…then…” statement. It is NOT an educated guess, it is a testable prediction. If the experiment does not support your hypothesis, you should change your hypothesis and try again. If the hypothesis is repeatedly proven to be true, it will become a scientific theory.
Experiment After you have created a solid hypothesis, you need to test it to see if it is correct. This test is the experiment. You will need variables (the changes) You sometimes need a control group (the thing that doesn’t change) This is used to show the scientist that the result of the experiment is because of what you are testing.
Results After you conduct your experiment, you will need to see what your results are. Often times, this is the part where we are measuring. Example: measuring the height that a plant has grown. This is also the step that we use to analyze our data. Sometimes we use this data to make charts or graphs.
Conclusion The conclusion tells us whether or not our hypothesis was correct or not. Often times in the conclusion we state whether or not we would do the experiment again or how we would change it. If a hypothesis has been proven so many times that it is the logical explanation for events that occur in nature, we call it a theory. In science, a theory is not a guess, it is proof.
*Repeat* If we have not solved our problem, we need to go back and try again! This does not mean that we ALWAYS have to go back to the start Most of the time, scientists just use the scientific method as a guideline, and jump around the steps as they try to solve their problem.
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