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The Scientific Method Example. Steps 1-5. Scientific Method Listing the Steps. Make an Observation Define the Problem Research the Problem State the Hypothesis Experiment to test Hypothesis Collect and Record Data Analyze Data Draw Conclusions Determine Limitations

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scientific method listing the steps
Scientific MethodListing the Steps
  • Make an Observation
  • Define the Problem
  • Research the Problem
  • State the Hypothesis
  • Experiment to test Hypothesis
  • Collect and Record Data
  • Analyze Data
  • Draw Conclusions
  • Determine Limitations
  • Report Results

If needed, Do more investigation

make an observation

As we all know, frogs have four legs.

What’s up with thesefroggies?

Make an Observation

Do you see something unusual?

Frogs withincorrectnumber oflegs!

define the problem
Define the Problem
  • The problem MUST be in the form of a question
  • The obvious question is: 
    • What is causing these deformities?
research the problem
Research the Problem
  • Gather information related to the problem
    • Read, observe, measure, take samples, etc.
      • How frogs normally develop from eggs
      • The % of frogs with the deformities
      • Number of other species in the pond with deformities
      • Previous or new pollutantsin the pond
      • Change in amount of UV (sunlight) exposure on eggs
      • Etc.
state a hypothesis
State a Hypothesis
  • A hypothesis is:
    • An educated guess, trial answer, possible solution, prediction
    • Must be a statement
    • Must be testable or measurable
    • Is based on your research and previous experience
hypothesizing
Hypothesizing
  • List possible explanations (alternative hypotheses) based on your previous experience (what you already know);  and on research you have done  
  • all of the hypotheses must be testable
hypothesizing1
Hypothesizing

Aliens from outer space-

Sorry, this is not allowed because it is not testable using the Scientific Method.  Sheesh!

Something Else-Another possibility that we might think of is predation or cannibalism, which seems to be the best explanation for certain kinds of deformities (frogs with missing limbs).

If this hypothesis is true, then, at minimum:

We should find frogs and/or other pond critters with evidence that their legs have been damaged or bitten off

Chemical Pollution-If this hypothesis is true, then: You should be able to find a likely chemical pollutant in the deformed frog ponds

You should be able to isolate the chemical from the pond water

You should be able to show that the isolated chemical can cause the exact same deformities in the lab

These are minimal predictions;  you may have already thought of the fact that chemical pollution should affect all four limbs equally, or that other organisms from the same ponds should show deformities as well

Genetic mutation-

If this hypothesis is true, then: If we mate deformed frogs the offspring should show similar deformities

The deformities should be fairly uniform and predictable The particular deformities should only be found in one species

Ultraviolet Radiation-If this hypothesis is true, then: We should be able to measure unusually high levels of UV radiation at deformed frog sites

We should be able to use these same levels to induce the exact same kinds of deformities in the lab

Can you think of other predictions based on this hypothesis?

Disease (virus, parasite, etc.)- If this hypothesis is true, then: We should be able to find the disease-causing agent (for example, parasites) at the deformed frog ponds

We should be able to find the parasites in the deformed frogs

We should be able to use the same parasite to induce the exact same kinds of deformities in the lab

Loud Rock + Roll Music-Okay, this is testable, but WHY test it??? (get real)

  • Some possible explanations (hypotheses) for the frog deformities: Genetic mutation

Chemical Pollution

Ultraviolet Radiation

Disease (virus or parasite or...?)

Loud Rock & Roll Music

Aliens from outer space

Something else

experimenting
Experimenting
  • Testing the hypothesis
  • Pick the hypothesis that makes the most sense and is easy to test
  • Then design a controlled experiment
experimenting1
Experimenting
  • Go to the web site for Hartwick College to see the experiments and how the scientific method was actually used to find out the cause of recently found frog deformities.
  • http://info.hartwick.edu/biology/def_frogs/Introduction/Update.html(I have a link to this on my website)