The Scientific Method

The Scientific Method
A Way to Solve a Problem
Think about it...
What is the
scientific method?
What is the Scientific Method
● It is the steps someone takes to identify a
question, develop a hypothesis, design and
carry out steps or procedures to test the
hypothesis, and document observations and
findings to share with someone else.
● In other words, it is a way to solve a problem or
answer a question.
How do scientists learn?
● Scientists have to take the time to
think logically when they are
investigating a question or
● In order to to this, they break
things down into many steps that
make sense.
Scientific Method
1. Scientists develop a question to gain
knowledge or solve a problem.
2. Scientists will gather information about
the subject.
3. Based on the information they have
gathered, scientists form a hypothesis or
educated guess that can be tested.
Scientific Method
The next step scientists take is to
create and conduct an experiment to
test their hypothesis.
How to create a successful investigation:
● The key to a successful
investigation is observing what
happens and writing it down.
● Gathering information or data
and documenting it so it is
readable and makes sense to
others is really important!
How to create a successful investigation:
Experiments only test ONE variable!
● Which antibiotic works bests?
● Which brand of paper towels are most absorbent?
● Which brand of fertilizer grows the largest plants?
How to create a successful investigation:
● Scientists have a standard for comparison called a
● The control is the object that is NOT altered
● The bacteria that has not been treated with an antibiotic.
● The plants that have not been fertilized.
How to create a successful investigation:
● During the experiment, the Independent Variable is
● This is what YOU CHANGE in the investigation!
● Different brands of antibiotics.
● Different brands of paper towels.
● Different brands of fertilizer.
How to create a successful investigation:
● During the experiment, the Dependent Variable is
what is measured.
● This is what YOU watch to see what happens in the
● The growth of antibiotics.
● The absorbency of water.
● The Growth of the plants.
How to create a successful investigation:
● Scientists keep variables Constant.
● This means they keep other parts of the investigation
Same starting time.
Same ending time.
Same temperatures.
Same amount of light.
What’s Next?
● 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.
What’s Next?
● Scientists share their investigations and
findings with others.
● Because they share their investigations
and findings, scientists can learn from
each other and often use someone else’s
investigations to help them with what
they are studying or doing.
The Steps of the Scientific Method are:
and Data
Your Turn
Read the experiment on the next slide and answer the
What is the question they are trying to answer?
What is the control?
What are the constants?
What is the independent variable?
What is the dependent variable?
Which container will insulate liquid better?
1. Gather a Styrofoam cup,
paper cup, and a ceramic
2. Pour the same temperature
and the same amount of
liquid into each container at
the same time.
3. Take the temperature of
each after 30 minutes and
record your data.
● The question is which container is a better
The control is comparing the three containers to
each other.
The constants are:
○ Same temperature
○ Same amount of liquid
○ Same start and end time
The independent variable is the type of container.
The dependent variable is the heat.
Read the following investigation and find the
Which type of soil will absorb the most water?
● Use dark organic soil, fine sand, and coarse gravel.
● Place coffee filters into three beakers.
● Put 200 ml of dark organic soil, 100 ml of sand, and 50 ml
of gravel into each filter.
● Put one in the sun, the second in the dark, and the third in
the refrigerator.
● Add 100 ml of water to each filter.
● After five minutes, check the water that wasn’t absorbed
in each beaker.
● Need the same amount of soil
● Need the same conditions (ex. All in
the sun)
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