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The Scientific Method. What is Science?. Science : Process that produces information about nature Steps: Observation & Experimentation Why: Apply the results to the real world Why: Better understand our world Information gathered by the “Scientific Method”. Scientific Method.

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What is science
What is Science?

  • Science: Process that produces information about nature

  • Steps: Observation & Experimentation

  • Why: Apply the results to the real world

  • Why: Better understand our world

  • Information gathered by the “Scientific Method”


Scientific method
Scientific Method

  • Defined: Series of steps to collect information or solve problems

    1) Observation

    2) Hypothesis

    3) Experimentation

    4) Data Analysis

    5) Conclusion


Observation and hypothesis
Observation and Hypothesis

  • 1st step: Make an observation

    • Example: Why is there little ground vegetation in this forest?

  • 2nd step: Create a hypothesis

    • If…then statement

    • Example: If there are tall trees blocking sunlight, then few plants will grow near the ground.


3 rd step design an experiment
3rd step: Design an Experiment

  • Experiments test the independent variable

    • Independent variable: factor altered

  • Two parts to an experiment

    • Control group: comparison group

      • Ex: patch of forest with the large trees

  • 2) Experimental group: contains the independent variable

    • Ex: patch of land w/o canopy trees

    • Data collected is called the dependent variable

      • Ex: growth height of the plants



8cm rain/month

8cm rain/month

6 hours sun/day

6 hours sun/day

Control Group

Experimental Group

Grazing animals

60⁰ temp

60⁰ temp

Grazing animals

Large canopy trees

Patch of open land

The experimental plants grew 1 meter taller. What most likely caused this change?



8cm rain/month

8cm rain/month

6 hours sun/day

Control Group

Experimental Group

4 hours sun/day

Grazing animals

60⁰ temp

80⁰ temp

Grazing animals

Large canopy trees

Patch of open land

The experimental plants grew 1 meter taller. What most likely caused this change?

Unknown! Too many changed variables!


4 th step data analysis
4th Step: Data Analysis

  • Collect data to either support/reject your hypothesis

    • Ex: Plants on the ground grew almost 1m taller w/o the canopy trees

    • No hypothesis is proven after 1 experiment


5 th step conclusion
5th Step: Conclusion

  • Your findings could be shared and repeated by others

  • Theory develops over time

    • Theory = long standing hypothesis

  • Theories and hypotheses change based on new information


Farmer Bob wants to test his new fertilizer to help his crops grow better. He sections off two large areas of his field. In section A, he waters his crops as usual but adds no fertilizer. In section B, he waters his crops as usual and also adds his experimental fertilizer. After 1 growing season, he records the growth of the crops.

Name the control group _________________________________________________

Name the experimental group ____________________________________________

Name the independent variable __________________________________________

Name the dependent variable ____________________________________________

Section A

Section B

Substance added to the crops

Growth of the crops


The United States military wants to see if soldiers with only 4 hours of sleep can operate at the same level as those who normally get 7 hours of sleep. One hundred solders are allowed to only sleep for 4 hours a night and another hundred are allowed to sleep for 7 hours a night. During the day, the soldiers are tested for marksmanship on the firing range.

Name the control group _________________________________________________

Name the experimental group ____________________________________________

Name the independent variable __________________________________________

Name the dependent variable ____________________________________________

Soldiers with 7 hours sleep

Soldiers with 4 hours sleep

Amount of sleep given

Score on the firing range


A teacher wants to know if her new teaching method is more successful than traditional teaching methods. She compares test scores of her period 2 class (received the traditional teaching method) verses her period 4 class (received new teaching method). Each class has a random mix of honors students.

Name the control group _________________________________________________

Name the experimental group ____________________________________________

Name the independent variable __________________________________________

Name the dependent variable ____________________________________________

Period 2 students

Period 4 students

Teaching method

Test scores


A high school soccer team on average scores 2.2 goals per game by practicing 4 days a week. The coach wants to see if practicing 5 days a week will help the team score more goals. The coach has the team practice 5 days per week and compares the goals scored per game.

Name the control group _________________________________________________

Name the experimental group ____________________________________________

Name the independent variable __________________________________________

Name the dependent variable ____________________________________________

Practicing 4 days per week

Practicing 5 days per week

Length of practice

Goals scored per game


The city of Los Angeles wants to know if there is a connection between physical fitness and air pollution. Fifty volunteers from the mayor’s office agree to be tested. First, they are asked to ride a stationary bike for 1 hour in a pollution-free air chamber. A week later, the 50 volunteers return and are again asked to ride a stationary bike for 1 hour in a chamber filled with air pollutants common to Los Angeles. Their heart rates are monitored throughout the 1 hour bike rides.

Name the control group _________________________________________________

Name the experimental group ____________________________________________

Name the independent variable __________________________________________

Name the dependent variable ____________________________________________

Volunteers who breathed common polluted air

Volunteers who breathed clean air

Quality of air breathed

Heart rates


Kobe kuiz
Kobe Kuiz connection between physical fitness and air pollution. Fifty volunteers from the mayor’s office agree to be tested. First, they are asked to ride a stationary bike for 1 hour in a pollution-free air chamber. A week later, the 50 volunteers return and are again asked to ride a stationary bike for 1 hour in a chamber filled with air pollutants common to Los Angeles. Their heart rates are monitored throughout the 1 hour bike rides.

  • Place the 5 steps of the scientific method in order from start to finish.

    Data analysis, Observation, Conclusion, Experimentation, Hypothesis

  • In which stage of the scientific method are graphs usually created?

  • In which stage of the scientific method are the two variables identified?

  • Which variable is the difference between the control and experimental group?

  • Which group of an experiment is used for comparison and contains no changes?

  • How many independent variables should exist in a well designed experiment?

  • What is the data collected from the independent variable called?


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