What is the scientific method? It is a process that is used to find answers to questions about the world around us.
Our questions come from our observations. Qualitative – Subjective Based in opinion Observation is a word or description Quantitative – Concrete Based in measurement Observation is a number
Identify the Problem What do you want to know or explain? Use observations you have made to write a question that addresses the problem or topic you want to investigate.
Form a Hypothesis What do you think will happen? Predict the answer to your question or the outcome of the experiment. Important: A hypothesis doesn't have to be right for the experiment to be correct. -testable statement based in quantitative observation
Forming a Hypothesis Can you make any assumptions? This helps narrow down what your hypothesis and experiment will be testing.
Create an Experiment How will you test your hypothesis? Develop a procedure for a reliable experiment and address safety rules.
Experimental Control An experimental setup in which the subjects are treated as in a parallel experiment except for the omission of the procedure or agent under test It is used as a standard of comparison in judging the success of the experiment
Experimental Constants All of the conditions that remain unchanged during the experiment
Experiment Design Always identify your INDEPENDENT variable and your DEPENDENT variable. ONLY CHANGE ONE THING AT A TIME!
Variables YOU CHANGE the independent variable. Always graphed on the x-axis. YOU MEASURE (record data) the resulting change in the dependent variable. Always graphed on the y-axis.
Perform an Experiment Follow the steps in your procedure to perform your experiment. Record data (quantitative) and observations(qualitative)!
Analyze the Data Is the data reliable? Does your data and observations from the experiment support your hypothesis?
Is your data inaccurate or the experiment flawed? Yes? Modify the Experiment Rewrite your procedure to address the flaws in the original experiment.
Is your data inaccurate or the experiment flawed? No? Communicate the Results Write a conclusion that summarizes the important parts of your experiment and the results.
Now What? Your hypothesis can become a MODEL as long as it explains at least part of the tested phenomenon.
Now What? Your hypothesis can also be grouped with other related hypotheses to form a THEORY.
Scientific Theory Must be confirmed through repeated testing Not easily disproven – BUT CAN BE! Remains valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it
Now What? A theory can be considered a LAW if it generalizes many independent observations at the time it is made.
Scientific Law AT THE TIME it is made, no exceptions have been found to the law. Like a theory, a law can be discarded if sufficient experimentation can disprove it.
Law vs. Theory A law summarizes what happens A theory is an attempt to explain why it happens
Resources: Science Fair Handbook for Teachers, Parents, and Students by Sandy Lautz http://188.8.131.52/portfolios/l/lautz_s/Scie nce%20Fair%20Handbook/scientificmethod. htm http://184.108.40.206/portfolios/l/lautz_s/Scie nce%20Fair%20Handbook/scientificmethod. htm Science Spot http://sciencespot.net/Pages/classgen.html# Anchor1