# Think Like a Scientist! Division of Academics and Transformation

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Think Like a Scientist! Division of Academics and Transformation
Mary Tweedy, Curriculum Support Specialist Keisha Kidd, Curriculum Support Specialist Dr. Millard Lightburn, Instructional Supervisor

THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD The process, or steps scientists use to gather information and answer questions!

Scientific Method Overview
Make Some Casual Observations Do Some Background Research Form a Hypothesis That is Testable Experiment to Test Your Hypothesis Analyze Results & Draw Conclusions

Step 1: Ask a Question What do you want to find out?
Identify one question that can be answered by performing an experiment. An experiment is a set of steps you follow to test a hypothesis. This question will be the Problem Statement.

Scientific Method Video & Karaoke Song Study Jams – Scientific Method

Step 2: Make a Hypothesis
Look at the Problem Statement and identify the one factor that can be tested. This is the manipulated or independent variable. Form an idea or educated prediction that can be tested by an experiment. Write down your Hypothesis: “If (I do this) then (this) will happen.”

Step 3: Plan the Investigation
Identify and record the factors that can affect the results of the experiment under Variables. 1. Test (independent/manipulated) variable or the factor that is changed in the experiment. (See previous Step 3.) 2. Constant variables or all the factors to be kept the same in the experiment. 3. Outcome (dependent/responding) variable or the data to be collected during the experiment. 4. Control Group (not found in all experiments) A group that is untreated by the factor being tested that serves as a reference for comparison to the experimental group.

Investigations to Collect Data SC.5.N.2.1 & SC.5.N.2.2
Karaoke Song

Step 4: Planning Continued
Write your procedures or the steps you will follow in your experiment. Each procedure step needs to be numbered. Each step needs to begin with a verb. These procedures will insure that all variables are kept the same (constant) or controlled except the one you are testing (independent). Identify control group = what remains the same (no variable). Figure out and collect the materials needed for the experiment.

Step 5: Collect, Organize, and Display Data
Start the experiment. Observe and record the quantitative data (numbers or measurements) collected during the experiment on a data table. Repeat the experiment three or more times to confirm results. Take pictures during the experiment. Graph your data from all trials. (Dry Mix) Display under Data. Restate your data in a narrative form under results.

Step 6: Drawing Conclusions
What was investigated? (Describe the problem statement.) Restate your hypothesis, and tell if it was supported(true) or not supported (false). What were the major findings? (Explain your results.) Look at everything that may have affected your results. What possible explanation can you offer for your findings?

Step 7: Making Applications
What recommendations do you have for further study and for improving the experiment? Explain what you learned from your experiment that could be applied in real life. List any new question(s) that your experiment lead you to ask that could be tested in a new investigation.

M&M Experiment Activity 1.5

Problem Statement (Question to Investigate)
Does the temperature of the water affect how fast the colored coating dissolves from an M&M?

Hypothesis Write your own hypothesis. If ………………………, then………………..

Materials 3 Same-color M&M’s
1 White foam dessert plates (with measurements) Room-temperature water Hot water Cold water Measuring cup Centimeter ruler Bucket or large bowl Paper towels Graduated cylinder

Procedures (modified)
Take the temperature of the room temperature water. Pour 50mL of room-temperature water into the plate. With the help of your partners, place a same-colored M&M in the center of the plate. Observe for 1 minute. (stopwatch online) Measure the distance in cm the colored coating traveled. (measure from the center). Record your observations on the activity sheet. Repeat steps 1-6 with the cold water, them hot water. Record data in chart on lab sheet. Have students share their observations. Ask students whether they noticed a difference in the movement of color in the different temperatures of water.

Distance Coating Traveled
Data Collection Distance Coating Traveled Room Temp. Cold Hot Trial #1 cm Trial #2 Trial #3 Trial #4 Trial #5 Trial #6 Average Distance Traveled

Did your results support your hypothesis or not? If the experiment was to be repeated should anything be done differently?

Application How can this experiment be used in a real-world situation?
What scientific principles can be used for more research?

REVIEW

1. Ask a Question or State a Problem
Asking WHAT? or HOW? to something you observed

An educated guess! 3. State your HYPOTHESIS
A Hypothesis is an explanation for a question that can be formally tested. An educated guess! If…then…

4. Design an Experiment A procedure is designed to test your Hypothesis… Testing whether it is true or false. Must be repeatable, and easy to understand

In a well designed Experiment, you need to keep all variables the same except one.
Test/Independent/Manipulated Variable: (CAUSE) The factor that is changed in an experiment…it is what you are testing! Constant/Control Variable(s): The factor(s) that remains the same! Outcome/Dependent/Responding Variable: (EFFECT) The data you collect

6. Collect Data The observations and measurements you make in an experiment are called Data.

What happened during your experiment? Does additional research need to be conducted?

“My hypothesis was (supported or not supported) because __________”

Share your results and data with others.
9. Communication Share your results and data with others. Sources: written, spoken, video, TV, papers, lecture . . .

10. New Problem Form a new question or state a New Problem on the same topic. What more can you learn? What do you still want to know?

Think Like a Scientist! Don’t Forget!!! Investigate Application
Observe Explore Think Like a Scientist!