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Steps of the Scientific Process. Introduction to the Scientific Process . A logical, problem solving technique Not just scientific problems. Introduction to the Scientific Process. Use conclusions to develop a new hypothesis. Step 1: Identify a Problem. Observe the world around you.

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Introduction to the scientific process
Introduction to the Scientific Process

  • A logical, problem solving technique

  • Not just scientific problems

Introduction to the scientific process1
Introduction to the Scientific Process

Use conclusions to develop a new hypothesis

Step 1 identify a problem
Step 1: Identify a Problem

  • Observe the world around you

  • Using observations, identify a problem you would like to solve

    • Example: Why do termites follow the ink line?

  • This is a question you DO NOT know the answer to and can’t look up.

  • “Why” and “What would happen if..” are good beginnings of scientific questions.

  • Remember


    • Uses our 5 senses to gather information

    • Qualitative:

      • The termites follow a circle made with a blue pen on white paper

    • Quantitative: uses numbers

      • 3 termites follow a circular blue pen line that is 5 cm in diameter

    We use observations when identifying a problem and asking a question? Will termites follow any color line on white paper? What will you measure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Step 2 gather background information what is known
    Step 2: Gather Background Information- What is known?

    • Use references to do background research

      • Books

      • Journals

      • Magazines

      • Internet

      • TV

      • Videos

      • Interview Experts

    • Example: Termites

      • Live underground

      • Do not see in color

      • See only black and shades of gray and white

    Step 3 formulate a hypothesis
    Step 3: Formulate a Hypothesis


    Example: Termites


    If the termites follow a circular path made with a dark blue colored pen on a white background then they will follow a circular path made with a dark red colored pen on a white background .

    • Possible answer to a question that can be tested

    • Based on observations and knowledge

    • “If” “Then” “Because” statement

    Do we use observation or inference to formulate a hypothesis?

    Inference-A logical interpretation of events based on prior knowledge or opinion.

    Termites follow the blue line because the like it???

    Termites will follow any circular pattern on a light paper made with any dark colored pen because they see in black and white.

    Step 4 develop an experiment
    Step 4: Develop an Experiment



    Step by step instructions

    Can be repeated by anyone

    How to display what you measure

    Identifies the variables used in the experiment

    • A list of all the things you need

    • At least 5 termites

    • At least 3 replicates

    How would you describe how to make a Peanut Butter

    and Jelly Sandwich to someone who had never done it?

    To someone who didn’t know what peanut butter or jelly is?

    Variables in the experiment independent variable
    Variables in the Experiment: Independent Variable

    • The variable I (the scientist) change or manipulate

    • Example:

      • The color of pen used (red in the place of blue)

        Other Experiments:

      • The brand of pen used

      • The color of paper under the termites

      • The shape of the path

    Variables in the experiment dependent variable
    Variables in the Experiment: Dependent Variable

    • Is measured in the experiment

    • Changes because of the independent variable (pen color)

    • “Depends” on the independent variable

    • Examples:

      • How many termites follow the dark red line after following the dark blue line? (whole number)

      • How long do the termites follow the lines? (time)

      • Over what distance do they follow the line? (distance)

    Variables constant
    Variables: Constant


    If you test color of paper, keep the color of pen constant

    If you test the smell of pen, keep the color and type of pen constant (only change smell)

    The exact termites used

    The time of day and how long the termites are there

    The shape of the line drawn

    • All the factors in the experiments that are kept the same

    • Everything except the independent variable

    • Keeps the experiment ‘fair’

    Variable the control
    Variable: The Control

    • The normal condition that you compare the other conditions to

    • Recreate the conditions you first observed

    • Example:

      • Termites in a Petri dish on white filter paper follow a blue line (.5mm) with a bic pen in a circular shape of 5cm in diameter.

    Step 5 record and organize data
    Step 5: Record and Organize Data

    • Write all observations and measurements

    • Use a table to organize your data

      • List your independent variable on the left side

      • Record your dependent variables on the right side

        • If you have more than one dependent variable, use a new column for each dependent variable

    Which one of these independent variables is the control?

    Which part of the independent variable is the constant?

    Step 6 analyze data
    Step 6: Analyze Data

    • “A picture is worth a thousand words”

    • Compare and look for trends and patterns using graphs

    Bar graph categorical data
    Bar Graph-Categorical Data


    Red pen

    Blue pen for

    Number of Termites following entire circular path

    Line graph
    Line Graph

    Number of termites on the ink line for 40 seconds

    Number of Termites

    Line graphs are used

    for time interval data

    Pie chart
    Pie Chart

    A Pie Chart

    adds up to a whole

    – 100% or

    all of something

    Step 7 make conclusions
    Step 7: Make Conclusions

    • You must repeat the experiment to make the data valid

    • You should run your experiment at least 3 times to confirm your results

      • You can run all the experiments at one time, or run one after the other

    • Each separate experiment is called a Repetition (or Rep).

    • At least 5 organisms per replicate in order to do statistics and make conclusions

    How many times?