Introduction and the Scientific Method

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
B. Experimentation- conducting a carefully controlled search for truth about a
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
Dependent Variable- what the investigator
Independent Variable- the variable which the
investigator varies during the experiment.
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.
 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?