What is the Scientific Method?
• The Scientific Method is steps that scientist use to answer questions and solve problems.
What is the Scientific Method?
The scientific method is the only scientific way accepted to back up a theory or idea. This is the method on which all research projects should be based. The Scientific Method is used by researchers to support or disprove a theory.
Steps of the Scientific Method
• • • • • • Ask a Question Form a Hypothesis Test the Hypothesis Analyze the Results Draw Conclusions Communicate Results
Ask Fred To Act Dramatically Cool
• • • • • • A- ask F- form a hypothesis T- test hypothesis A- analyze the results D- draw conclusions C- community
Ask a Question
• An observation is any use of the senses to gather information. • To ask a question you must first make an observation. • Ask a question about what you have observed.
Form a Hypothesis
• A hypothesis is basically a guess. • It is the answer to your question.
Test the Hypothesis
• How do I test my answer? • Basically, by doing an experiment. • See if there is a way that you can test your answer. • Maybe you have to grow a few plants for example.
Analyze the Results
• What did your experiment show? • You need to record your data to keep track of what is happening in your experiment. • This can be through charts, graphs, or data sheets.
• At the end of the investigation, you must draw a conclusion. • Determine what the experiment has told you by looking at your collected data. • You may have to reform your hypothesis, and retest your answer
• One of the most important step in any investigation is to communicate your results. • You can write a scientific paper, make a presentation, or create a Web site.
Science Method Scenarios
Test you knowledge by visiting the Scientific Scenarios and see if you can identify the steps of the scientific method. Click the titles below to visit the scenario.
The Water Consumed by Perennial and Annual Flowers
The Differences in Copper Mass Included in Pennies Minted After 1982
Attempting to Teach Fish Through Association Learning About Sea Life Acids and Bases Breakfast Cereal Iron
The Water Consumed by Perennial and Annual Flowers Two students in biology wanted to find out which plant required more water, an annual or a perennial flower. They decided to use a dandelion as the annual and a rose as the perennial. In three separate test tubes they placed equal amounts of water. In the first two test tubes they placed the dandelion and the rose, leaving the third test tube without a flower as a control. Before placing the flowers in the test tubes they cut the stems at an angle. After two days they recorded the amount of water left in the test tubes
Attempting to Teach Fish Through Association
Ellen wanted to see if fish could “learn” by association. She set up three identical ten-gallon aquariums. The walls and tops were covered with black construction paper to prevent light from entering. Ten feeder guppies were added to each aquarium as test subjects. A small corner of each aquarium was left open, and a small reading light is placed over it. Each day, the light is turned on over the aquarium, and thirty seconds later, a small amount of food is added to two of the aquariums. The third aquarium is a control, and no food is added at this time. Every five days for twenty days, the number of fish that come to the light before the food is offered is recorded.
Learning About Sea Life
In Mr. Miyagi’s fifth grade Science class the students had been reading about different salt water sea creatures. After reading they began to ask questions on how they survive in the ocean. Mr. Miyagi decided to do an experiment to help the children learn more about ocean life. He found it best if the students were divided into five groups. Group A observed a horseshoe crab. Group B observed a sea urchin. Group C observed a snail. Group D observed a spider crab. Group E observed a star fish. After each group had observed the sea organism for 15 minutes, they were asked to record the information about what they discovered. Data included size, shape, color, protection from predators, and how they eat and move. After they had recorded the information, each group was asked to share with the rest of the class what they learned about their creature. The students finally discussed how each sea organism was alike and different.
Acids and Bases Billy wanted to find out if certain liquids were acids or bases. He used lemon juice, water, and glass cleaner for samples. The water was used as the control. He placed two tablespoons of each liquid into separate beakers. Then he took three strips of red Litmus paper and dipped one into each beaker then laid them out to dry. When they dried, he then recorded the color of the paper and whether it was an acid or a base. A positive base test is blue, a positive acid test is red, and in a neutral test the paper does not change.
The Differences in Copper Mass Included in Pennies Minted After 1982 Bubba wanted to know approximately how much copper is present in pennies minted after the year 1982. First, Bubba chose his penny and filed a small notch on either side of the coin. He then proceeded to weigh the penny. Bubba, with the help of his science teacher, measured out 20 ml, or 6 cm, of hydrochloric acid into a 50mL beaker. Bubba then poured the acid into the beaker, covering the penny. He left the cup sitting over night, and removed the penny with a pair of tongs on the next day. Bubba then washed the pennies in water to remove all of the acid and dried them thoroughly. He then weighed the penny again to determine the amount of copper left.
Breakfast Cereal Iron Natalie wants to know how much iron is contained in a cup of two popular breakfast cereals. She put a cup of Total and a cup of water into a bowl. She then put a cup of Corn Flakes and a cup of water into another bowl. She let each bowl set for 24 hours. The next day Natalie inserted a magnet into each cup and stirred it around. She measured the amount of iron filings in milligrams from each cereal.