Scientific Method and Your Science Experiment
Anyone who has read a mystery novel or seen a “whodunit,” has seen the scientific method in action. It is a logical, organized mechanism for identifying and researching a problem and devising a strategy to solve it.
There are 5 major steps of the scientific method.
Step 1: Determine the problem or question.
• In this step you
decide what it is that you will study.
• This step identifies exactly what you want to learn and allows you to focus only on that material.
• Still no ideas? Try this link: Science Buddies Idea Generator
Step 2: Develop your hypotheses
• The hypothesis is an
educated guess. It involves researching the problem and finding out what others have learned, the using that information to help devise and answer.
• The hypothesis should answer your original question and it should be testable.
Step 3: Design an experiment to test your hypothesis
• Design an experiment
whose results will either support or disprove your hypothesis.
• There should be at least two groups in your experiment. The first group is the group that has the experimental variable or the factor that is being tested. The second group is the control group which is identical to the experimental group in every way except that it lacks the variable.
• Write your research plan using the directions on page two of the Student checklist.
• Submit the forms that your experiment requires for Scientific Review Committee (SRC) approval.
• Once you receive SRC approval, you can continue to Step 4.
Step 4: Conduct your experiment and collect the data
• Run your
experiment. In this step, you will be measuring the dependant variable, the thing that is being observed or measured. Any pieces of information that you collect regarding the dependant
variable are called data.
• Record all of your data in your data/lab notebook.
Step 5: Draw Conclusions from your data
it is decided whether your hypothesis was supported or disproven.
• If your hypothesis is supported, it should be repeated. The more an experiment is repeated, the more valid the more valid the results are.
• Create your display for the Maine State Science Fair.