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Intro to Scientific Method

Describe the Scientific Method and Introduce the Scientific Method Project

Matthew Lock

on 12 August 2014

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Transcript of Intro to Scientific Method

1. Define the BIG Question?
Your question should be interesting and testable. The question is the big idea or the overlying problem that you want to answer.

Quantitative questions that deal with numbers and measurable values are the easiest to answer.
How much time?
Qualitative questions that deal with descriptions are much more difficult to answer.
What color?
Personal preferences?
Ask opinion?


Make some observations and conduct some background research before starting.
3. Hypothesis
Based on your observations and research state a testable hypothesis.
The hypothesis is a STATEMENT that you believe is true and you are going to test.
A null-hypothesis is a statement that would disprove your hypothesis, but you believe to be false.
ex: Can all of my students get an "A" on their scientific method project?
ex: Research shows that students who sign up for upper level science classes are highly intelligent and work hard to get good grades. I know from my own observations that every student is quite capable of getting an "A".
ex: All of my students will all get an "A" on this project.
4. Design and Implement an Experiment
Your experiment should be able to answer your question, test your hypothesis, and needs to be reproducible.
ex: My students will work together in small groups to answer an original and interesting question using the scientific method and then present their finding to the entire class.
5. Analyze and Interpret the Data
Based on the data collected you can either prove or disprove your original hypothesis.

If your overlying question is not answered you may have to go back and make a new hypothesis and design a new experiment. Some of the most important scientific questions will probably not be answered within our lifetime, some questions cannot be definitively answered ever.
ex: To be determined in the near future...
I am staying optimistic!
6. Publishing Results
Honesty in the scientific community is essential. By publishing your results others have an opportunity to review them. They can decide to either duplicate your tests or design their own tests to better answer the overlying question.
ex: I will place your assignment scores into the grade book so that your parents can marvel over how smart you are.
There are times when the question is already posed and you may need to start at step 2.
null ex: Only boys can do well on this project.
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