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The Scientific Method

Question Hypothesis

The Scientific Method

Variables Materials Procedure Data Collection Analysis Conclusion Evaluation

QUESTION
Experiments are designed to answer questions or to solve problems.

Ask a scientific question.


This means that your question must be about something that you can measure or observe, quantifiably.

HYPOTHESIS
A hypothesis is an explanation to answer a scientific question. A good Hypothesis should:
1. Be written as If... then... statements. 2. Include a reason why. 3. Be about something you can measure .

VARIABLES
A variable is a factor in an experiment that can change. There are 3 different types: 1. Input Variable (Independent) 2. Output Variable (Dependent) 3. Control Variable (Constant)

Independent Variable Dependent Variable Control Variables

The one factor you change on purpose. The one factor you measure. The many factors that must not change to ensure a fair test.

MATERIALS
Specific information about the items that you will use. A good Materials section should:
1. Be in list or table format. 2. Include amounts, sizes, types of materials (e.g. 35 mL of cold water). 3. Include safety equipment.

PROCEDURE
Specific information about the method you will use. A good Procedure:
1. Should be in short, easy-to-follow steps. 2. Start each step with a verb. 3. Should be repeatable by anyone.

DATA COLLECTION
Data tables are used to organize and record measurements. Good Data Tables...
1. Include a detailed title. 2. Have the units written in the column headings, not in individual cells. 3. Have the independent variable in the left column and the dependent in the right.

ANALYSIS
Normally, graphs are used to present your data in an easy-to-read format. Graphs are Used to:
1. Show how two variables are related. 2. Identify trends or patterns. 3. Make predictions (interpolation & extrapolation).

CONCLUSION
A conclusion is a simple summary of what your results mean. A Good Conclusion...
1. Is fully supported by your data. 2. Compares the results to the hypothesis. 3. Only relates to what you actually tested... do not assume things!

EVALUATION
In your evaluation, you must give a critique of your experiment.
A Good Evaluation... 1. Describes how reliable your data is. 2. Identifies and describes anomalous (unexpected) results in your data. 3. Identifies weaknesses in the procedure and suggests improvements.

Any Questions?