The scientific method
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The Scientific Method. Explain the steps in the scientific method. Step 1. Ask a Question based on your observations: How, what, why, where, when or who? In order to use the scientific method to answer the question, it must be about something that you can measure, preferably with a number.

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The Scientific Method

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The scientific method

The Scientific Method

Explain the steps in the scientific method.


Step 1

Step 1

  • Ask a Question based on your observations: How, what, why, where, when or who?

  • In order to use the scientific method to answer the question, it must be about something that you can measure, preferably with a number


Step 2

Step 2

  • Conduct background research –

  • Doing so will provide you with valuable information and help you choose the best way to conduct your experiment


Step 3

Step 3

  • Construct a hypothesis – an educated guess about the question you are trying to answer.

  • State your hypothesis as an “If . . . . . , then. . .” statement.

  • You must state your hypothesis in a way that you can easily measure.

  • Construct your hypothesis so it will help you answer your original question.


Step 4

Step 4

  • Test your hypothesis with an experiment.

  • Your experiment tests whether your hypothesis is true or false.

  • Be sure that you are testing only one factor at a time while keeping all other conditions constant


Controlled experiment

Controlled Experiment

  • A variable is something that can be changed in the experiment.  Everything else must be the same. Only one variable or condition is changed.


Example

Example

  • A good problem question for a controlled experiment can usually be phrased in this form:

  • How does one thing (manipulated variable) affect another thing (responding variable)?

  • Ex. “How does the temperature of water affect the ability of sugar to dissolve?”


Variables

Variables

  • Manipulated Variables – the variable that is changed and controlled by the scientist.

  • Responding Variables – the variable that is observed and that changes in response to the manipulated variable.


Note about variables

NOTE ABOUT VARIABLES:

  • MANIPULATED VARIABLE IS THE SAME THING AS THE INDEPENDENT VARIABLE;

  • RESPONDING VARIABLE IS THE SAME THING AS THE DEPENDENT VARIABLE;


Other parts of a controlled experiment

Other parts of a controlled experiment

  • A control group should be used when conducting an experiment.  This group is not tested. It is the standard for comparison.


Other parts of a controlled experiment1

Other parts of a controlled experiment

  • Constant – factors in an experiment that remain the same.

  • Why?

  • No change so there is no influence on the outcome of the experiment.


Example of controlled experiment

Example of Controlled Experiment

  • QUESTION:  How will the amount of fertilizer used  affect plant growth?

  • HYPOTHESIS:  If the amounts of fertilizer are increased, then there will be greater growth in tomato plants.

  • TEST VARIABLE:  The amount of fertilizer used.


Example continued

Example, continued

  • TEST CONSTANTS:

  • The seeds must all come from the same package.

  • All seeds must be planted in the same sized pots with similar soil.

  • All plants must receive exactly the same amount of water and light.

  • The temperature should be the same for all test plants.


Control group

Control group

  • Set one group as the CONTROL GROUP.  This group is not given fertilizer.

  • Set up two other test groups.  Once receives a certain amount of fertilizer and the other receives twice as much.


Example continued1

Example, continued

  • ANALYSIS OF DATA:  A triple bar graph or line graph of the growth of your plants. CONCLUSION:  Which plant group grew the most?  Why or why not?  What would you do differently next time?


Back to the scientific method

Back to the scientific method

  • Step 5: Collect/record data from your experiment

  • Step 6: Draw a conclusion – analyze your results to see if your hypothesis is true or false.


In the real world

In the real world

  • Repeated experimentation leads to the formation of a:

  • Theory – a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations


Lab report template

Lab report template

  • Lab Report Template

  • Title:

  • * a brief, concise, yet descriptive title

  • Statement of the Problem:

  • * What question(s) are you trying to answer? * Include any preliminary observations or background information about the subject

  • Hypothesis:

  • * Write a possible solution for the problem.* Make sure this possible solution is a complete sentence.* Make sure the statement is testable.


Lab report template1

Lab Report Template

  • Materials:

  • * Make a list of ALL items used in the lab.

  • Procedure:

  • * Write a paragraph (complete sentences) which explains what you did in the lab. * Your procedure should be written so that anyone else could repeat the experiment.

  • Results (Data):

  • * This section should include any data tables, observations, or additional notes you make during the lab. * You may attach a separate sheet(s) if necessary.* All tables, graphs and charts should be labeled appropriately


Lab report template2

Lab report template

  • Conclusions:

  • * Accept or reject your hypothesis.* EXPLAIN why you accepted or rejected your hypothesis using data from the lab.* Include a summary of the data - averages, highest, lowest..etc to help the reader understand your results* List one thing you learned and describe how it applies to a real-life situation. *Discuss possible errors that could have occurred in the collection of the data (experimental errors)


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