The Scientific Method ♫ A Way to Solve a Problem ♫ Created by Ms. Williams July, 2009
What is the Scientific Method? The scientific method is the way in which scientists answer questions and solve problems.
Scientist have to take the time to think logically when they are investigating a question or problem. They break things down into many steps that make sense.
These steps involve identifying a question, developing a hypothesis, designing and carrying out procedures to test the hypothesis, and documenting observations and findings to share with someone else.
Observing is using one or more of your senses to gather information
The Two Types of Observations Qualitative observations are descriptions that don’t involve numbers or measurements. Quantitative observations are measurements. Ex-You make a quantitative observation when you measure your height or weight.
After making many observations, scientists develop a question and then gather information to form a “testable” hypothesis.
A Testable Hypothesis A good hypothesis is testable. A hypothesis is considered testable when information can be gathered by observation or when an experiment can be designed to test the hypothesis.
Hypothesis A hypothesis is a possible explanation or answer to a question.
The next step scientists take is to create and conduct an experiment to test their hypothesis.
Controlled Experiments Scientist use controlled experiments to test hypothesis. An experiment in which all variables except one remain the same is called a controlled experiment.
Variables are factors that can change in an experiment. The variable that is purposely change is called the manipulated (independent) variable. The variable that is expected to change because o the manipulated variable is called the responding (dependent) variable.
A key to experimentation is observing what happens and writing it down. Gathering information or data in the form of facts, figures or other evidence gathered through observation and documenting it so it is readable and makes sense to others is really important.
Once a scientist completes an experiment, they often repeat it to see if they get the same findings and results. This is really what we call verification, or checking things out to make sure everything was valid and will happen again and again.
Organizing data into tables and graphs makes relationships between information easier to see.
Scientists communicate their experiments and findings with others. Because scientists share their experiments and findings, they can learn from each other and often use someone else’s experiences to help them with what they are studying or doing.
The steps of the Scientific Method are: Posing a Question Developing a Hypothesis Designing Experiments Collecting & Interpreting Data Drawing Conclusions Communication Ideas and Results