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The Scientific Method

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Katy Gallenberg

on 2 November 2014

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Transcript of The Scientific Method

First step: State the problem
What is the question you want to answer during this experiment or investigation?

What problem are you trying to solve?

Example: Does the amount of light affect the growth of a plant?
Second step: Gather Information
What is the purpose of your activity?

What key terms are necessary?

What information do you need to know to complete the activity?

For our plant example, what information do we need to know in order to complete this experiment?
Third step: Form a hypothesis
Should be based on research, not simply a guess

This is the question that you want to answer in the lab.

The hypothesis needs to be testable!

Must contain a "because" stating why you predict what you do

Example: The plant that receives extra light will grow larger than the plant that receives the normal amout of light BECAUSE plants need light to grow.
Fourth step: Plan and Conduct an experiment!
You must include:
-A material's list
-Procedures written on your own words and must explain ever step from start to finish!
-Observations of the experiment with explanation
-A labeled diagram when necessary

Should not include any data!
Should not include any conclusions

What would this step look like in our plant experiment?
Fifth step: Analyze data and Create Graph
This is where all the data goes!!

Show your calculations here
Show a data table here
Create a graph to summarize the data collected
-must include appropriate components!

What are the components necessary for a good graph?
What might our plant data graph look like?
Seventh step: Presentation
This step isn't part of the Scientific Method, but is important for your lab report and future science experiments.

You need correct spelling and grammar!
Your report must be organized in a way that is easy to read.

& How to write a lab report
The Scientific Method
Sixth step: Draw Conclusions
Summarize the answer to your question and how the data brought you to that conclusion

Ask the questions:
What did your data show you?

Was your hypothesis correct? Did your results surprise you?

Where could you go from here to find out more?

Example: In the plant experiment, the data I found showed that there was an increase in growth with an increase in the light. (You would have more than this though)
Theory vs Law
A law is a description of something that happens in nature over and over again in the same way every time.

They describe what is going to happen, because it has happened before
If I drop an apple, it will fall

Newton says that gravity is why the apple falls to the ground

Protons and Neutrons are located inside of the nucleus

Dalton says chemical reactions occur because of the rearrangement of atoms

There is no single way to perform a good scientific investigation...

BUT, Scientists have a general set of rules they use when performing experiments. We call these rules the scientific method.
A theory is an explanation for a phenomena that occurs over and over again.

Theories are supported by tons of research.

After many experiments by different scientists are done that support a particular hypothesis, it becomes scientific theory.

Theories explain why it is happening.

Can theories be factual? YES! lots of them are.
They sometimes even seem like laws.
Science isn't about a collection of facts, but rather is made up of new ideas, principles, models, explanations, and predictions

To describe this, we use theories and laws.
Groups and Variables
In every experiment, there are specific parameters that need to be set. These parameters are the groups and variables that define the experiment.
Experimental Group
The experimental group is the group that is being tested.

This group is experiencing one variable change.

Why can there only be one??

In the plant experiment, what is the experimental group?

Control Group
The control group is the group that remains the same throughout the experiment.

This group could also have the "normal" or regular treatment.

Why would you need a control group in an experiment?
In the plant experiment, what is the control group?
Independent Variable
The independent variable is the thing being tested.
It is the thing you are trying to test.

It answers the question: What did I change?

Can be in the form of: Type of ______

On a graph, the independent variable is ALWAYS shown on the X axis.

In the plant experiment, what is the independent variable?
Dependent Variable
The dependent variable is what is observed based on the original change.

It answers the question: Because I changed something, what did I observe?

Can be in the form: Amount of _________

On a graph, the dependent variable ALWAYS goes on the Y axis.

In the plant experiment, what is the dependent variable?
Full transcript