Scientific Method

Scientific Method
Scientific Method- a thoughtful process of steps for solving a problem. It uses experimentation
to explore ideas and answer questions.
Experiment- a series of steps designed to answer a question
Data- information collected from the experiment
Problem- the question to be answered
an educated guess
it answers the problem question
it must be testable
created before the experiment is done
Example: The bowling ball will roll down the hill
the fastest.
**you do not need to say because**
Procedure- the steps in the experiment
Independent Variable- the part of the experiment that you control
(ex: the type of ball or hill used)
Dependent Variable- the part of the experiment that you observe or measure
(ex: how fast the ball is rolling, the time it took the ball to roll, etc.)
Constant- things in the experiment that stay the same
(ex: the hill, where on the hill you let the ball go)
Control- the part of the experiment that you do not test
(ex: which fruit juice lets plants grow better?- control would be the plant that you just give
water so that you have something to compare to because you are not testing it with juice)
Calculations- math that is done in the lab
Analysis-where calculations are done and the data is reviewed
Accept or reject the hypothesis
Summarize the results of the lab
Decide if the experiment is over or if a new experiment should begin
Example: I accept the hypothesis that the bowling ball will
roll down the hill the fastest. The bowling ball rolled down
the hill in 2 seconds, the baseball in 5 seconds, and the ping
pong ball in 8 seconds, therefore the bowling ball was the ball
to have rolled down the hill the fastest. I believe the
experiment is over and I do not need to do another because
my question was answered.
Vocabulary Practice ActivityNoah is interested in figuring out if ice melts at different speeds depending on the color of block he sets
the ice on. Noah has five wood blocks. Four are painted: green, red, blue and white. What is Noah’s
problem? Write a hypothesis for Noah’s problem. Create a procedure to test the hypothesis. Create a
control for the experiment. Create a constant for the experiment. Identify the independent variable.
Identify the dependant variable. What sort of data should he observe and record? Create a sample
Problem- What color of wood will melt ice the fastest?
Sample Hypothesis- The ice will melt fastest on the wooden block painted blue.
Control- Melting the ice cube on the unpainted block.
Constant- size of wood block, size of ice cube, room temperature, type of paint
Procedure- 1. Place ice on blocks. 2. Start stopwatch. 3. Wait for ice cubes to melt. 4. Note the
time it took each ice cube to melt.
Independent Variable-The color of wooden blocks
Dependent Variable-melting time
Observable Data-time it takes for the ice to melt
Sample Conclusion- My hypothesis was accepted. The ice on the blue block melted in 1 min. The
ice on the green block melted in 1 min. and 30 seconds. The ice on the red block melted in 2
min. The white block melted in 3 min. The experiment does not need to be done again because
the problem was completely answered.
The Scientific Method
1. Problem
a. Asks a question
2. Hypothesis
a. Do some research
b. Make an educated guess that answers the question
c. Must be testable
3. Experiment
a. Procedures should be designed to test the hypothesis
b. Identify one or more constants
c. Make observations and record data
d. The independent variable is the part that you control
e. The dependent variable is what you observe or measure
4. Analysis
a. Organize the data (chart, smallest to largest, etc.- anything to make it easier to see
the numbers)
b. Make graphs (makes the numbers visuals so you can see the patterns)
c. Perform calculations
d. Answer questions
5. Conclusion
a. Accept (
) or reject (
)the hypothesis
b. Summarize the results using what you learned in the experiment
c. Decide if the question (the one from the problem section)was completely answered
d. If the question is answered, then the experiment may end
e. If the question was not completely answered, form a new question and start the
method again
6. Report Results
a. Turn in the lab!(in the real world people publish their work in magazines, tv, etc.
Ask a Question
Create new
Do background research
Construct a Hypothesis
Test with an Experiment
Analyze Results/Draw
Hypothesis is True
Draw cConclusion
Report Results
Hypothesis is False or
partially True