# Scientific Method Notes

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Scientific Method Notes

Definition The scientific method is a series of steps used to outline a way of attacking a problem.

1. Observe Use your senses to take note of FACTS, and take note of what you already know.

1. Observe

2. Develop a Problem Write a short question where you mention the variable. Which will hit the ground first? A bullet fired from a gun, or a bullet dropped?

2. Develop a Problem A variable is any factor that can have more than one value in the experiment. There are two kinds: dependent and independent. Which will hit the ground first? A bullet fired from a gun, or a bullet dropped?

2. Develop a Problem The dependent variable is the factor you measure or observe during an experiment; it changes AS A RESULT of you changing the independent variable. Which will hit the ground first? A bullet fired from a gun, or a bullet dropped?

2. Develop a Problem The independent variable is the factor you want to test; YOU change it during the experiment to see how it affects a dependent variable. Which will hit the ground first? A bullet fired from a gun, or a bullet dropped?

2. Develop a Problem Everything else is a “constant” - ALL the other factors in an experiment that are kept the same each time you perform a test. Constants: Same distance traveled Same location Same bullet No wind resistance

3. Form a Hypothesis This is an explanation or answer to a question that can be tested with a scientific investigation to describe what will happen and why it will happen.

3. Form a Hypothesis Make a prediction, which is a forecast of what will happen next in a sequence of events. It does not explain WHY. If you fire a bullet from a gun, and at the same time drop a bullet, they will hit the ground at the same time.

3. Form a Hypothesis The hypothesis must be testable and able to be disproved, not necessarily proved.

3. Form a Hypothesis The hypothesis must be testable and able to be disproved, not necessarily proved. If you fire a bullet from a gun, and at the same time drop a bullet, they will hit the ground at the same time.

4. Do an Experiment This tests the hypothesis. Change only one variable each time. All other factors should be held constant (kept the same). 2 Trials: Fire a bullet from a gun. Drop a bullet straight down from the same height.

5. Collect Data A qualitative measurement uses words to describe. A quantitative measurement uses numbers to describe. Qualitative: The bullets hit the ground at the same time. Quantitative: Both bullets hit the ground at approximately .44 seconds.

5. Collect Data

5. Collect Data Organize the data NEATLY in tables and graphs.

5. Collect Data A data table displays information in rows and columns so that it is easier to read and understand.

5. Collect Data A graph puts the independent variable on the x-axis and the dependent variable on the y-axis.

5. Collect Data A graph with a linear relationship between variables results in a straight line.

5. Collect Data A graph with a nonlinear relationship between variables results in a curved line.

6. Analyze Data Compare your results to your original hypothesis and prediction.

Steps in the Scientific Method
Observe Develop a Problem Form a Hypothesis Do an Experiment Collect Data Analyze Data Make Conclusions

Steps in the Scientific Method

Correlation does NOT equal Causation!

Correlation does NOT equal Causation!

Draw and color a cartoon picture in each box that illustrates that step of the Scientific Method.