2 The Scientific MethodScientists and science researchers use an organized method to investigate any situation. This organized method is referred to as the scientific method.Although there is no one true scientific method, there are a number of steps that all researchers follow.
3 Investigating…Scientific research usually starts out with someone asking “why” something happens.The first step of the scientific method is to state the problem.
4 ResearchAfter stating the problem, you must try to find out as much as you can about the problem.This can be referred to as gathering information or simply doing research.
5 The Educated GuessThe next step is to form a hypothesis (educated guess) by making a statement about the situation.A hypothesis must be measurable. This means you must be able to measure any results by some physical means. Statements that have to do with feelings or emotions are not valid hypotheses as they can not be scientifically measured.
6 The ExperimentThe next step is to test the hypothesis (do an experiment).An experiment uses controlled conditions to test the effect of one thing on another.
7 Analyzing DataAfter you conduct an experiment, you need to be able to show what you have done.To analyze data is to record observations and create charts or graphs to organize the data collected. Data must be organized so that it can be easily interpreted.
8 ConclusionThe last step of the scientific method is to draw a conclusion. If you conduct an experiment and do not reach some type of conclusion then you have wasted your time.A conclusion must either support the hypothesis or reject the hypothesis. So there is still things left to do in the method.
9 Conclusion SupportedIf your conclusion supports the hypothesis, then under the scientific method, you repeat the experiment to make sure that you continue to get the same results.Your goal is to test something many times to be able to get a reliable result.
10 Conclusion does not support hypothesis If you conduct a test and the outcome is not true, you must modify the hypothesis. This means change your hypothesis based on your findings to make it more correct.Once you have modified your hypothesis, the changed hypothesis will need to be tested again.
11 Scientific TheoriesA hypothesis may eventually evolve into a scientific theory.A scientific theory is something that has been tested numerous times and has always remained true. Theories are the best explanation found based on a scientific investigation.
12 Other key termsScientific Law – This is the strongest type of scientific statement. A law is something that is always true in nature and seems to be true all of the time (for example - Gravity).Bias – when what you expect changes the outcome of an experiment. To avoid bias, simply report the full results of an experiment.
13 Required parts of any experiment Independent variable – Factor you have control over in the test (many times it is made up of groups tested). This is located on the x-axis of a graph.Dependent variable – This is the responding factor in the test. It is always “what you want to know”. It is located on the y-axis of a graph.
14 Required part of any experiment (continued) Constant – Things that are kept the same in each test group. (example: all at same temperature, get the same sunlight, etc.)Control – A “zero group” used to compare results against. Other test groups are measured against the control.