The Scientific Method involves a series of steps in which scientists answer questions and solve problems.
We shall take a closer look at these steps and the terminology you will need to understand before you start a science project.
1.Ask a Question 2. Form a Hypothesis 3. Test the Hypothesis 4. Analyze the Results 5. Draw Conclusions 6. Communicate Results
Steps of the Scientific Method Ask a Question 1. Ask a Question: Asking a question helps focus the purpose of an investigation Scientists often ask a question after making many observations
Step 1: Ask a Question (cont’d) Observation is any use of the senses to gather information. Observations made with tools are called measurements Keep in mind that observations can be made (and should be accurately recorded) at any point during an investigation.
Steps of the Scientific Method Form a Hypothesis 2. Form a Hypothesis: A hypothesis is a possible explanation or answer to a question. A hypothesis can be formed by combining observations with a question. Example: If soil temperatures rise, then plant growth will increase.
Step 2: Form a Hypothesis (cont’d) Before scientist test a hypothesis, they often predict what they think will happen when they test the hypothesis. Scientist usually state predictions in an if-then statement or format.
Steps of the Scientific Method Test the Hypothesis 3. Test the Hypothesis: You must find out if it is a reasonable answer to your question. A good hypothesis is testable.
Step 3: Test the Hypothesis (cont’d) A hypothesis that is not testable is not wrong, but there is no way to show whether the hypothesis is right or wrong. Testing a hypothesis helps you determine if the hypothesis is a reasonable answer to your question. If your hypothesis is way off the mark, you may have to change it. One way to test a hypothesis is to do a controlled experiment
Steps of the Scientific Method 4.Analyze the Results 4.Analyze the Results: After you collect and record, you must analyze the results. You must find out if the results of your test support your hypothesis
Step 4: Analyze the Results (cont’d) Organizing data into tables and graphs makes relationships between information easier to see.
Steps of the Scientific Method Draw Conclusions 5. Draw Conclusions: At the end of an investigation you must draw conclusions.
Step 5 Continued You could conclude that your results support your hypothesis. You could conclude that your results do not support your hypothesis. You might even conclude that you might need more information. Your conclusion can help guide you on what to do next. ( You could ask new questions, gather more information, or change the procedure.)
Steps of the Scientific Method Communicate Results 6. Communicate Results: You can communicate results by writing a scientific paper, make a presentation or create a website.
Step 6: Communicate Results (cont’d) Be prepared to present the project to an audience. Expect questions from the audience. Telling others what you have learned keeps science going. Other scientists can then conduct their own tests.
Scientific Method 1.Ask a Question 2. Form a Hypothesis 3. Test the Hypothesis 4. Analyze the Results 5. Draw Conclusions 6. Communicate Results
Independent Variable The independent, or manipulated variable, is a factor that’s intentionally varied by the experimenter.
Dependent Variable The dependent, or responding variable, is the factor that may change as a result of changes made in the independent variable.
Control Group In a scientific experiment, the control is the group that serves as the standard of comparison.
Control Group The control group is exposed to the same conditions as the experimental group, except for the variable being tested. All experiments should have a control group.
Controlled Experiment A controlled experiment compares the results from a control group with the results from experimental groups. The groups are the same except for one factor (THE VARIABLE). The results of the experiment will show the effect of the variable.