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# September 9, 2009 What is the scientific method and why is it important?

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September 9, 2009 What is the scientific method and why is it important?

Q: What is the Scientific Method?

A Logical set of steps used to solve a problem 6 steps

1. Problem/Question What is it we are trying to figure out or solve? May not be in question format

2. Hypothesis Educated OPINION Possible answer to question/problem We must first gather some information before we can form a hypothesis! “If…., Then…” statement (whenever possible!)

3. Experiment/Procedure Allows us to test our hypothesis Includes a list of materials to be used AND the steps to follow Always composed of 2 parts

Part A: Control Group (“Normal Group”) Constants: parts of the experiment that stay the same (you will have many of these) Ex: Amount of sunlight, Type of soil, Temperature, Humidity, etc.

Part B: Experimental Group Has EXPERIMENTAL factors that change throughout the experiment You must have only ONE factor you are changing EX. Amount of water given to plant

The factor that changes in the experimental group is called the VARIABLE. There can be 2 kinds of variables.

Variable 1: Independent This is the factor that is changed or added by the scientist (you) The independent variable is ALWAYS changed in the experimental group. We call this the CAUSE

Variable 2: Dependent This is the factor that changes as a result of the independent variable. We do NOT control how much this changes! We call this the EFFECT.

6 Steps of Scientific Method 4. Gather Data/Observations : – Data and observations can be in the form of Graphs Charts Words Etc

Types of Data There are 2 types of data you should ALWAYS have when using the scientific method. 1.Quantitative data deals with NUMBERS (quantities) 2.Qualitative data deals with WORDS (qualities )

5. Analysis Where you EXPLAIN your results WHY did things happen? What mistakes did I make? If I were to do this again, how would I change it?

6. Conclusion Where you tell if your hypothesis was correct or not. Did you see what you expected? Or were your results different from what you thought DO NOT SAY: Yes, my hypothesis was correct.

Plant Example 1. Problem: How does the amount of water affect the growth of my plant? 2. Hypothesis: If I add more water, then the plant will grow taller.

Plant Example Cont 3. Experiment: –Control Group: Plant with same amount of water every day (ex. 2 tablespoons) –Experimental Group: Plants receiving more or less water than control (ex. None, 1, 3, 4, etc)

Plant Example Cont Independent variable- Amount of water (think: what are WE changing or controlling?) Dependent variable: Height of plant (Think: What is changing as a result of the change above?)

Plant Example Cont 4.Data and Observations Graph of amount of water vs. height Table with data Written observations: color of plants, wilting, etc

Plant Example Cont 5. Analysis Why do you think you saw the results you did? What science facts support your findings? Mistakes/Next time

Plant Example Cont 6. Conclusion Was your hypothesis correct or not? My results supported my hypothesis because an increase in water resulted in taller plants. My results did not support my hypothesis because the plants were not taller when given more water.

AGENDA ITEMS 1.Syllabus Signatures and Parent Homework- As soon as possible 2. Simpsons/SpongeBob Homework

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