SCIENTIFIC METHOD  A step by step process that scientists use to solve problems.

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SCIENTIFIC METHOD  A step by step process that scientists use to solve problems

STEP 1  State the Problem or Question  What is it you want to know?  For Example: Why are there worms on the sidewalk after it rains?

STEP 1 a  Research or gather information – if someone already solved it, why do the work?

STEP 2  Form a Testable Hypothesis  Propose a solution to the problem based on available information  this is an educated guess or an inference  For Example: If rain turns into worms, then that’s why worms are on the sidewalk after the rain.

Scientific Theory  A well tested explanation of something that occurs  a wide range of observations or experimental results goes into a theory  This is NOT a fact. It has just not been proven wrong. There is still the possibility it could be.  Examples: Evolution, Relativity

Scientific law  A rule describing a consistent pattern in Nature. It happens every time, all the time.  Examples: Gravity, Thermodynamics, Motion

STEP 3  Design an Experiment  experiments are used to prove (or disprove) a hypothesis  experiments must be done and explained in a way that they may be repeated!!

Design an Experiment  experiments contain 2 parts:  experimental set-up - contains variable being tested  control set-up - same as experimental set-up w/out the variable

Design an Experiment  Variables- a factor that can change in an experiment  Independent OR Manipulated Variable- The one factor that the scientist changes during an experiment; also called the independent variable  Dependent OR Responding Variable- The factor that may change in response to the manipulated variable; also called the dependent variable

STEP 4  Collect & Analyze Data  information that is observed or measured must be recorded -- this is data  observations require detailed descriptions  measured data is most often recorded in data tables & graphs  used to compare/contrast info

STEP 5  Draw Conclusions  What are the results telling you?  Does the data support the hypothesis?

Draw Conclusions  Does the data oppose the hypothesis?  If so, do you need to change the hypothesis or throw it out and start over?  Does the answer to your problem present any new questions/problems?

Step 6  Communicate Your Results  Publishing your results enables others to review your work. What good is new information if only you know it?  Examples: A paper for class, an article in a newspaper or magazine, etc…  Scientific Method Song Scientific Method Song

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