The Scientific Method
1. State the Problem
2. Gather Information
3. Form a Hypothesis
4. Test the Hypothesis (experiment)
5. Record and Analyze Data
6. State the Conclusion
7. Repeat the Work
("Stanley Gathered Few Trophies Racing Slow Rabbits.")
State the Problem:
Is there life on other exoplanets?
Click here: Meet MIT Astrophysicist Sara Seager
What next? Gather background information about the topic
Click here: Ted Talk: Solving the Problem of Life on Exoplanets
Scientists look for cause and effect relationships...
Does MiracleGro product cause houseplants
to experience more growth than when it is not used?
Click here: Put it to the Test Song
~ Experiment Vocabulary ~
A trial is one round of experimenal testing.
A variable is the one condition that is changed during an experiment. It is what the scientist purposely varies. It is the factor being tested which may cause something else to change in a predicted way.
(Note: There should only be one (1) variable per experiment, so that you can identify what single factor is causing the result.)
Constants are many conditions that are kept the same throughout the experiment.
The control is a duplicate set-up of the experiment that lacks the variable.
(Note: The control is used for comparison.)
Data are the values of qualitative or quantitative information gathered during an experiment.
( Note: Data is collected, then often recorded in tables and charts. Once the data is analyzed, graphs can be created to display the results.)
A hypothesis is an "educated guess," or prediction about the results of the original research problem.
Solve a Science Mystery...
Mythbusters Team: The Scientific Method Masters!
Click here: Lunar Flag Myth Busted / Moon Footprint Episode
Click here: Brain Pop - Controls and Variables
Click here: Brain Pop - Scientific Method
Hit LOG IN button >>> Username: peabody4 >>> Password: concord
Click here: Inky the Squid and the Scientific Method Games to Play
~ Displaying Data ~
( Scientists visually display their data in tables, graphs and charts. )
Question >>> When should you use a BAR GRAPH?
Answer >>> When you need to show a comparison between categories of data.
Question >>> When should you use a PIE CHART?
Answer >>> When you need to show a part/whole relationship.
Question >>> When should you use a LINE GRAPH?
Answer >>> When you need to show change/time (rise/run).
Click here: Interactive Bar Graph Histogram and Interactive Pie Chart
Frequency of Days per School Year that K- 6th Grade Students play Board Games.
Histogram (Bar Graph):
Histogram (Bar Graph) Analysis:
3rd graders play Board Games more often than in other grades.
Percentage of CMS Students Who Like the Taste of SPINACH:
Popeye's Pie Chart:
Survey Question: Do you like Spinach?
Pie Chart Analysis: 10% of CMS students like SPINACH. 90% do not like SPINACH.
The Line Graph:
(FYI: Useful for change over time)
( Terms: X-axis, Y-axis, Origin )
Data Analysis: What is the overall temperature trend in New York City?
Data Analysis: On which day of the week are the least potatoes consumed?
Data Analysis: What happened to the value of Sarah's car from 2001 until 2007?
??? WHY ???
The Scientific Method - Two Lab Experiments
A) The Chewing Gum Lab
Click here: "How It's Made" TV Show - Bubble Gum
Click here: International Chewing Gum Association Fun Facts
Click here: Chewing Gum Facts / How Gum is Made / The Story of Gum
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
1. State the problem:
Does chewing gum lose mass, gain mass, or does the mass stay the same after chewing it? (with variable chewing times)
2. Gather information:
Find out what chewing gum is made of, when it was first invented, who invented it, how bubble gum is made, learn about the chemistry of sugar, etc...
3. Form a hypothesis:
If I chew gum (for varying amounts of time)...then its mass will _____________.
4. Test the hypothesis:
Do an experiment to test your research problem. (develop a materials list, decide upon a procedure, choose equipment for measuring)
5. Record and analyze data:
Record the mass of the gum before and after chewing. What do the results show? (decide whether you will record the data in table, chart or graph format)
6. State the conclusion:
What DOES happen to the mass of the chewing gum as a result of chewing it (for varying amounts of time)? Why does the mass of the gum change?
7. Repeat the work...
Try this experiment again, as many times as possible. Yum.
Was your hypothesis correct?
Yum Yum Bubble Gum
B) Papering the Skies with the Scientific Method
Design and construct a paper airplane that will fly the farthest distance.
The Research Problem:
Which paper airplane design will fly the farthest distance?
Click here: The CMS Aerodynamics Challenge