Introduction and the Scientific Method Scientific Method- Process which outlines a series of steps used to answer questions - NOT a rigid procedure - Requires evidence to logically solve problems A. Observation – process if gathering information about events or processes in a careful, orderly way. - gather data using the five senses A. Hypothesis- an educated guess (best guess) proposed as a tentative answer to specific questions or problems. - It must be testable by experimentation or additional experimentation. B. Experimentation- conducting a carefully controlled search for truth about a hypothesis. 1. Experiments include(Experimental Design): a.) Control group- an experimental group in which all factors are held constant. Controls are needed for comparison, in order to draw conclusions. b.) Experimental group- experimental group in which only one factor is varied i. Dependent Variable- what the investigator measures ii. Independent Variable- the variable which the investigator varies during the experiment. iii. Controlled Variables- all other variables must be held constant. By holding these variables constant they will not be able to influence the independent variable. 2. Experiments must be repeated several times using exactly the same conditions to see if the results are consistent. C. Conclusion- analyzing the results of the experiments to determine whether or not the hypothesis is correct. - If the hypothesis is proved not valid, more observation and experimentation is needed, and the scientific method starts again. D. Theory- a well tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations - supported by lots of experimenting by lots of scientists - Science is an ongoing process that is a self-correcting way of knowing. Scientists: Build on prior knowledge Try to replicate the observations and experiments of others to check on their conclusions Share information through publications, seminars, meetings, and personal communication. Question: What is the difference in a theory and a law?