The Scientific Method Science Problem Solving Skills Created by Scott D. Richman.

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Scientific Method Terms Variable – something that can change in an experiment. Independent (Manipulated) Variable – the variable changed by the researcher in an experiment. Dependent (Responding) Variable – the variable being measured in an experiment. Constant – any other item in an experiment that must be kept the same for all groups (water, sunlight, soil type, etc.) Control Group – a group in the experiment that does not receive the independent variable.
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  • 1 The Scientific Method Science Problem Solving Skills Created by Scott D. Richman
  • 2 What is the Scientific Method? A step by step process for solving problems. The researcher tests their ideas about what the solution to the problem is. Tests the effect of one variable on the outcome of a situation.
  • 3 Scientific Method Terms Variable – something that can change in an experiment. Independent (Manipulated) Variable – the variable changed by the researcher in an experiment. Dependent (Responding) Variable – the variable being measured in an experiment. Constant – any other item in an experiment that must be kept the same for all groups (water, sunlight, soil type, etc.) Control Group – a group in the experiment that does not receive the independent variable.
  • 4 State the Problem The first step in any scientific method is to state the problem. The problem is what you want to find out. For example: I want to know which fertilizer will make my tomato plants grow the tallest. The problem should be stated in the form of a question. Example: Which type of fertilizer will make my tomato plants grow the tallest? Should have one independent variable. (in the example above, type of fertilizer). The dependent variable is how tall the plants grew.
  • 5 Background Research After deciding on the problem you want to solve, the next step is to research the topic you are investigating. For the fertilizer and tomato plant example on the previous slide, you would want to look up information on: –Fertilizers and how they affect plant growth. –Tomato plants. –Information on how to grow plants.
  • 6 Form a Hypothesis The next step is to use the background knowledge you gained from research to form a hypothesis. A hypothesis is an educated guess about what you think the solution to the problem is. Example: I think that fertilizer A will make the tomato plants grow the tallest.
  • 7 Test Your Hypothesis The next step is to conduct an experiment or survey to test your hypothesis. This process begins with the careful design of the experiment or survey including step-by-step directions. The design of the experiment also needs to list the variables, constants, and controls. All tests should be conducted with multiple trials to be sure of consistent results.
  • 8 Collect and Analyze Data The next step is to collect and analyze the data from the experiment or survey. Data should be collected in a data table either by hand or on a computer spreadsheet making it easier to look at. Once data is collected, graphs can then be drawn to help analyze what the data from the experiment or survey tells you.
  • 9 Drawing Conclusions The last step of the scientific method is to draw conclusions from the results of the experiment or survey. This step should begin with a statement of whether the hypothesis was supported or not and why. You should also explain the results of the experiment and what it means.
  • 10 Wrapping Up Your Investigation After drawing conclusions, the researcher needs to decide whether to repeat the investigation or not. If the hypothesis was not supported, a new one can be made and tested. If the hypothesis was supported, a new investigation can be completed as an extension of the one you just completed. The last thing that needs to be done is to “publish” or tell others about your results in an organized and informative way.
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