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Scientific Method

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Steps in the Scientific Method Observation/State a problem Observation/State a problem Research Research Hypothesis Hypothesis Experiment Experiment Data Collection Data Collection Conclusion Conclusion Retest Retest

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Observations(State the problem) Gathered through your senses Gathered through your senses A scientist notices something in their natural world A scientist notices something in their natural world

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Observations An example of an observation might be noticing that many salamanders near a pond have curved, not straight, tails An example of an observation might be noticing that many salamanders near a pond have curved, not straight, tails

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Research Find out as much information as you can on the problem Become educated on the problem Find other scientists who have done similar research

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Hypothesis Predicts an outcome Predicts an outcome A suggested solution to the problem. A suggested solution to the problem. Must be testable Must be testable Sometimes written as If…Then… statements Sometimes written as If…Then… statements

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Hypothesis An example of a hypothesis: An example of a hypothesis: If I add salt to water then the water will boil quicker. If I add salt to water then the water will boil quicker.

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Experiment A procedure to test the hypothesis. A procedure to test the hypothesis.

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Experiment All experiments MUST contain the following parts: a. Variables-Independent and Dependent b. Control Group c. Experimental Group d. Data e. Controlled Variables (Constants)

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Independent Variable Independent Variable – factor that is being tested Factor that YOU change in an experiment Factor that YOU change in an experiment

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Independent Variable A good or “valid” experiment will only have ONE independent variable!

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Dependent Variable Dependent variable. The factor that is measured or observed Results from the independent variable Data that can be recorded

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Scientific Experiments Follow Rules An experimenter changes one factor (IV) and observes or measures DV) what happens.

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The Controlled Variables (Constants) The experimenter makes a special effort to keep other factors constant so that they will not effect the outcome. The experimenter makes a special effort to keep other factors constant so that they will not effect the outcome. Those factors are called control variables. Those factors are called control variables.

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Control Group vs. Experimental Group Control Group Does not contain the variable and is NOT being tested The Control group is used for COMPARISON only. Experimental Group The experiment that contains the IV variable May have more than one exp. group

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Example of Controls & Variables For example, suppose you want to figure out the fastest route to walk home from school. You will try several different routes and time how long it takes you to get home by each one. Since you are only interested in finding a route that is fastest for you, you will do the walking yourself.

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What are the Variables in Your Experiment? Varying the route is the independent variable Varying the route is the independent variable The time it takes is the dependent variable The time it takes is the dependent variable Keeping the same walker throughout makes the walker a control variable. Keeping the same walker throughout makes the walker a control variable.

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One more thing… it is best to make several trials with each independent variable.

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Valid Experiments

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Remember: To be a Valid Experiment: Two groups are required --- the control & experimental groups There should be only one IV variable

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Data Results of the experiment May be quantitative (numbers) or qualitative

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Examples of Data Quantitative Data using numbers Qualitative Describing our observations during the experiment.

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Data Must be organized Can be organized into charts, tables, or graphs

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Conclusion The answer to the hypothesis based on the data obtained from the experiment

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Retest In order to verify the results, experiments must be retested.

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Review

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Solving a Problem 1)Identify a Problem 2) State Observations about the problem 3) Form a Hypothesis about the problem (if…then…) 4) Design an Experiment to test the hypothesis 5) Collect Data 6) Form a Conclusion 7) Retest

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