hypothesis question Scientists use experiments to test a hypothesis or answer a question
Variables are factors or parts that can change during an experiment
Manipulated (independent) variable: purpose what you change on purpose only There is only ONE MV in an experiment
Responding Responding (dependent) variable: measuring What you are measuring.
Controlled variables: constants What you keep the same (also called constants.)
Parts of an Experiment QUESTION/PROBLEM What question is being answered, problem solved, or hypothesis tested. What is the purpose of doing the experiment? What is the effect of MV on RV? How does MV affect RV?
Hypothesis An educated guess or a prediction about the results. If (the manipulated variable does this), then (the responding variable) will (describe what will happen) because (give a reason for your prediction) Parts of an Experiment
Materials: Items used during the experiment. Write in a bulleted list. Include details – how much you will need, units of measurement, sizes 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. –Always say to Record Data –Always say how many times the experiment will be repeated (4 total trials) Parts of an Experiment
Observations/Data: All the information gathered while performing the experiment. Should include written observations AND a data 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? Parts of an Experiment
Results/Conclusions: 1. 1. Make a Graph Decide on the kind of graph: Time progression = line, Objects = bar Set up your axis range Label your axes (x=MV, y=RV) Title your graph Parts of an Experiment
Results/Conclusions: 2. 2. Write a conclusion paragraph Restate your hypothesis and relate your findings to it (correct or incorrect) Support your claim with at least 2 pieces of data – use numbers from your data table! Explain why/how your data supports your answer Parts of an Experiment
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 laymans 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 dont 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/