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Language of Science * Are you hyperactive or hypoactive today?. Thinking about thinking What are the numbers on the bottom of the dice? How do you know?. Scientist think and talk. Scientific Method & Experimental Design. Solving Problems.

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scientist think and talk
Language of Science

* Are you hyperactiveor hypoactivetoday?

Thinking about thinking

What are the numbers on the bottom of the dice?

How do you know?

Scientist think and talk
solving problems
Solving Problems

To answer questions scientists use an organized system called the Scientific Method:

Some questions are solved quickly

Some over years

Some never get solved

basic sm
Basic SM





steps of the method
Steps of the Method

State a problem

Gather information (research, observations)

Form a hypothesis

Perform an experiment to test the hypothesis

Record & analyze data

State a conclusion

Repeat the work

creating a hypothesis
Creating a Hypothesis

Based on a small amount of information

An If – Then -- Because statement

Needs to be testable

Needed for experimentation

make a hypothesis
Make a hypothesis

You notice that your scores on your tests in biology over the past month. You want to improve your test scores.

Form a hypothesis:

where to start
Where to Start

To get precise results that are accepted by other scientists, you need:

a specific hypothesis

design a specific experiment

parts of an experiment
Parts of an experiment

In an experiment there are two variables

Independent variable

Dependent variable

independent variables
Independent variables

This is the part of the experiment that is deliberately changed from the beginning of the experiment

The factor that is being tested

trials sample size
Trials & Sample Size
  • Set up multiple trials based on the IV
    • Everything is the same except the factor being tested
  • Make sure to test more than 1 per trial
    • Why?
dependent variable
Dependent variable

This is the part of the experiment that is measured

This measurement tells the scientists if the independent variable has an effect on the outcome of the experiment

2 kinds:

Quantitative & Qualitative

designing of experiment
Designing of Experiment
  • In addition to the variables some experiments allow for a control
    • An experiment where there is not IV
the control
The Control

Makes sure that the experiment tests the independent variable


Hold all factors at “normal”

Used for comparison

the results
The Results

Results either support or disprove the hypothesis

scientific hypothesis
Scientific Hypothesis

A possible explanation for an observation based on a small amount of information

scientific law
Scientific Law

A basic principle that describes behavior of a natural phenomenon. A rule of nature. Explains what will happen.

scientific theory
Scientific Theory

A well tested explanation, supported by an overwhelming amount of evidence & is accepted by the majority of scientists. Explains Why

Often used to explain scientific laws

practice your skills
Practice your skills
  • Identify the various elements of scientific method


  • Identify experimental errors
scenario 1
Scenario 1
  • Compost and Bean Plants
    • Different aged grass compost on bean plant growth
    • Older compost should produce taller bean plants
    • 3 flats (25 plants per flat): Flat A given 6 month old compost, Flat B given 3 month old compost and Flat C no compost
    • Plant height recorded after 30 days
scenario 2
Scenario 2
  • Metals and Rusting
    • Utilities company burying lead next to iron pipes to prevent rusting
    • Perhaps more active metals will be better at preventing rusting
    • Placed following into separate beakers of water: a) 1 iron nail b) 1 iron nail wrapped in aluminum c) 1 iron nail wrapped in magnesium d) 1 iron nail wrapped in lead
    • Same amount of water used in each and at end of 5 days rated amount of rust
scenario 3
Scenario 3
  • Certain perfume esters agitate bees, wanted to know if Ester X was present in 4 different perfumes by observing bee behavior
  • Placed 10 mL of first perfume 30 m from hive, recorded time for bees to emerge and behavior
  • Allowed for 30 min recovery then repeated with additional perfumes
scenario 4
Scenario 4
  • Fossils and Cliff Depth
    • Observed that different types and amounts of fossils were present in a cliff behind home
    • Marked bank at five positions: 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 m from surface
    • She removed 1 bucket of soil from each of the positions and determined kind and number of fossils in each sample
scenario 5
Scenario 5
  • Aloe vera and Planaria
    • Aloe vera is to promote healing of burned tissue so it might help with regeneration of planaria.
    • Bisected planaria to obtain 10 parts (5 heads and 5 tails)
    • Applied 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%of aloe vera to the groups
    • 15 mL of solutions were applied. All planaria kept in same chamber with same temp, food, etc
    • On day 15 Jackie observed the regeneration and categorized as full, partial or whole
scientific theory1
Scientific Theory

A well tested explanation, supported by an overwhelming amount of evidence & is accepted by the majority of scientists. Explains Why

Often used to explain scientific laws

scientific method and the snowshoe hare
SCIENTIFIC METHODand the Snowshoe Hare
  • Observations –
  • Problems (?)-
  • Hypothesis –
  • Manipulated (Independent) Variable –
  • Responding (Dependent) Variable –
  • Control Group
  • Constants