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Welcome to Physical Science! The Nature of Science The Methods of Science Ch. 1 Sec. 1 What is Science? • Science is a process • Science helps explain the natural world • Science covers three main categories: – Life Science – Earth Science – Physical Science What is Science? • Science uses observation and investigation – Observations are recorded – Experiments are conducted – Models are tested • Investigations follow a general pattern called the SCIENTIFIC METHOD The Scientific Method • Our scientific method has six steps • Steps can be repeated many times • New steps can be added Scientific Method • Step 1. What’s the Problem? • Someone observes a natural event • Then asks “why?” or “how?” 2. Research • Gather as much information as possible – Has this been tested? – Are there tests that will be helpful? 3. Hypothesize • HYPOTHESIS: a possible explanation for a problem – Uses what you know – Uses what you observed 4. Test It • Test by: – Making observations – Building a model – Perform an experiment • An EXPERIMENT tests the effect of one thing on another thing, using controlled conditions Experiment Vocabulary • An experiment contains variables and controls – A VARIABLE is something that can have more than one value. It changes, or varies. – A CONSTANT is something that does not change. – A CONTROL is something to which the variable is not applied. Results are compared to the control. Experiment Vocabulary • Dependent variable: factor that changes because of changes in another variable • Independent variable: the variable you change to see how it affects the dependent variable 5. Analyze Data • Information is recorded and organized – All data, including results, are recorded – Data is displayed in tables and graphs 6. Make a Conclusion • Do the results support the hypothesis? – The hypothesis is valid if the results support it every time – If the results do not support the hypothesis, revise the hypothesis or the experiment Your Homework – Design an Experiment • Create an experiment using the 6 steps of the scientific method – State a problem, or a question – Research: what do you know already? – Hypothesize: guess your answer – Test it: just explain what you would do, you don’t have to do it… yet. – Analyze: how would you graph your results? – Conclude: explain what you would do if your results supported the hypothesis. What if they didn’t support it?
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