Scientific Method Blueprint For Success
Define the Problem • Make sure you know what the problem is. • State the problem as a clear question. • Will the use of Exxon gasoline give my car better gas mileage?
Research the Problem • Find out all you can concerning your problem • Use the Library • Magazines • The internet • Personal Interviews
Form a Hypothesis in the form of an “If -Then” Statement • The first part of the statement represents the problem, while the second part represents the proof you are looking for. • Examples: • If I spend my money on a new CD, then I will not have enough to go to the movies. • If I use Exxon Gasoline, then my car will get better gas mileage.
Develop a Controlled Experiment • All experiments contain variables (things found in the experiment). • The Experimental variable is the thing being tested • The Control variables are the other things having an effect on the experimental variable • These must be kept identical
Let’s Look at an Example! Gasoline’s Affect on Car Mileage.
What are Some Possible Variables? • Car type • Gasoline type • Driver • Driving Conditions • Amount of gasoline • Tires • Extra weight in car
If we are testing gasoline, what variables must be kept identical? • The cars must be of the same type. • Each car must have the same amount of gasoline. • The cars must be driven over the same course, at the same speed, and under the same weather conditions. • The cars must contain the same type of tires. • The only difference is the type of gasoline.
Conduct the Experiment • Conduct the experiment several times. • This is important to rule out making mistakes by using too few trials. • The more trials the more specific the data.
Analysis of Data • Examine the data and analyze it making a determination as to what it is saying. • Check to see if your data is complete or if more tests need to be conducted.
Form a Conclusion • Apply your analyzed data to your “If- then” statement (hypothesis). • If it satisfies the statement, then your hypothesis is correct. • If not, then you need to reexamine your data and find out why. • Make sure the experiment can be reproduced producing the same results.