You ask a question about something you observe How, What, When, Who, Which, Why, or Where? In order for the scientific method to answer that question, it must be something you can measure, preferably with a number
“How many students came to school today?” can be answered by performing an experiment “Why did you come to school today?” can not be answered by an experiment YOUR TURN: Write a question that can be answered by using the scientific method.
Rather than starting from scratch in putting together a plan for answering your question, be a savvy scientist and use library and internet resources to help find the best way to do things and insure you don’t repeat mistakes from the past. Source validity!
A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work. If (I do this), then (this will happen). You must state your hypothesis in a way that you can easily measure and it should be constructed in a way to help you answer your original question.
I observe that there are not many bees visiting my yard this summer (but I like bees) and want them there. So I ask “How can I attract more bees to my yard next summer?” I research bees and find that some native flowers, especially Bee Balm, attracts bees. Based on my research I propose a hypothesis If I plant native bee balm in my yard, then more bees will visit my yard.
Your experiment tells whether your hypothesis is true or false. It is important for your experiment to be a fair test. You conduct a fair test by making sure that you change only one factor at a time, while keeping all other conditions the same. Repeat your experiment several times to make sure your first results weren’t just an accident.
Consists of one control group-the group with no change Also consists of one variable group-the group where one condition is changed Both groups are treated exactly the same except for the one variable being tested
In my yard I set up two areas, a control area and a variable area The control group will be just grass The variable group will have grass and native bee balm Both areas will be exactly the same (light, temperature, rainfall, etc) except for the bee balm.
Write a simple experiment to test your hypothesis. Include a control group and a variable group.
1. Independent Variable: the manipulated variable (what we change) ex: Planting the bee balm 2. Dependent Variable: the responding variable (what happens after our change) ex: More bees come to my yard
Two kinds of data are collected. ◦ Quantitative: refers to numbers Ex: Plant with added fertilizer grew 5 inches taller than plants without Quantitative data is always expressed through charts and graphs ◦ Qualitative: refers to observations that you make Ex: Plants with added fertilizer are greener
Once your experiment is complete, you analyze your data to see if your hypothesis is true of false Scientists often find that their hypothesis was false and in such cases will construct a new hypothesis, starting the entire method over again Even if they find a true hypothesis, they might want to test it again in a new way
You will report your lab results in a lab report. Results (also called The Conclusion) will include: ◦ You will explain and interpret your findings ◦ Tell what you learned ◦ Explain any changes you would make if you were to do it again
Hypothesis: “an educated guess,” a tentative explanation of phenomena Theory: A widely accepted explanation that has stood up to thorough and continuous testing. Law: A statement of what always occurs under certain conditions