- How can we determine if something is a fact or
an opinion? How can we determine an answer to a problem? The
answer is use the scientific method.
- What is the Scientific Method? It is a
series of steps used to help solve a problem.
- Step 1. Define the problem. Make sure
only one problem is being studied.
- Step 2. Research the problem. Use all
available resources to collect data on the subject being covered.
Libraries, Internet, books, magazines, personal interviews,
- Step 3. Develop a hypothesis ( educated
guess ). Make it a short definitive statement. It should be an
"if" then" statement. The if part will become the hypothesis and
the then part should be the results received at the end of the
controlled experiment. Remember your hypothesis can be changed it
is not formed in concrete.
- Step 4. Develop a controlled
experiment. A controlled experiment is an experiment that
contains only one experimental variable. An experimental
variable is the thing being tested. Everything else in
the experiment or all other variables, must be the same. These
variables are also called the controlled variables. Keeping
these variables the same allows the experimenter to show that it
was the experimental variable that caused the results.
- Step 5. Analyze the data and come up with
a conclusion. The conclusion may or may not support the
hypothesis. Additional experimentation must then take place to
build documentation concerning the problem. If the hypothesis is
proven wrong, change the hypothesis, not the data.
- Problem: Is Raid the best insecticide
on the market?
- Research the problem: Look up
information on all insecticides.
- Make a Hypothesis: Raid is the best
insecticide on the market. If used it will kill insects 30% faster
then other insecticides. This educated guess was determine by the
experimenter based on the research done prior to making this
- Develop a controlled
- Spray 5 separate plates with equal amounts of
different insecticides. Cover each one with the same type and size
glass. Add equal amounts of the same type of insects to each
glass. Place them side by side and time the results.
- Form a conclusion: This is only done
after the data , from the experiment , has been collected and
- Click here for a worksheet.