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SCIENTIFIC THINKING AND

PROCESSES
SWBAT.
B-1.1: Generate hypotheses based on credible,
accurate, and relevant sources of scientific
information.

B-1.5 Organize and interpret the data from a
controlled scientific investigation by using
mathematics, graphs, models, and/or technology.

B-1.6 Evaluate the results of a controlled scientific
investigation in terms of whether they refute or
verify the hypothesis.

TODAYS OBJECTIVES
Identify the different elements of
scientific inquiry.
Define the difference between
accurate data and precise data
Understand the importance of graphs
Define the difference between
science and technology.
Understand the 4 components of
technological design
ASK YOURSELF:

How is research in a
laboratory similar to
research in a rain forest?
Biologists, like all scientists, as
questions about the world and
try to find answers through
observations and
experimentations.

How do your daily
observations answer questions
that you have about the world?
BIOLOGY IS A PROCESS OF INQUIRY.
Science is a humans way of trying
to understand the world around
us.
The process differs from scientist
to scientist, but all inquiry is based
on the same principles.
Scientific thinking is based on
both curiosity and skepticism.
OBSERVATION (STEP 1)
All scientific inquiry begins with careful
observations.

Observations: collecting information about
a topic by using our 5 senses.

Sometimes we use tools and technology to
make observations.
OBSERVATION:

Example: use
computers to collect
measurements or to
examine past results.


DATA
When observations are recorded, or written down,
they are called DATA.

Scientists collect 2 general types of data:
Qualitative data and Quantitative data

Qualitative data are descriptions in words of what is being
observed. They are based on some quality of an
observation like color, odor or texture. (sight, sound)

Quantitative data are numeric measurements. They are
the same no mater who measures them. They include
measurements like mass, volume, temp, time, ect.
EXAMPLES OF QUANTITATIVE AND
QUALITATIVE DATA.
Qualitative data:
Dolphin color ranges from gray to white.
Dolphins in a pod engage in play behavior.
Dolphins have smooth skin.

Quantitative data:
There are nine dolphins in this pod.
Dolphins eat approximately 4-5 % of their body mass
each day.
The sonar frequency most often used by dolphins is
around 100 kHz.
QUANTITATIVE DATA IS BEST
The quality of something (sight, sound, smell,
texture) can be different from one person to the
next and can not be measured.

The quantity of something (number of, length of,
duration of) is not different from person to person
and can be measured.
Precision is
the amount of
detail in
measurements,
or how closely
two or more
measurements
agree.

Accuracy is how close a
measurement is to the
actual or accepted value for
that measurement.

HYPOTHESIS (PL. HYPOTHESES) STEP 2
Scientists use observations and data to form
a hypothesis.

A hypothesis is a possible answer to a
scientific question.

A hypothesis must be specific and testable.

Written as an IFTHENstatement.
EXAMPLES: SALAMANDERS AT A POND
I OBSERVED that all the salamanders
around my pond have crooked tails. (which
sense did I use?)

I HYPOTHESIZED: IF the salamanders
have crooked tails, THEN they must live in
polluted water.

(I learned about the world around me with
my senses, then I made a reasonable guess
as to why I saw what I saw.)
EXPERIMENT (STEP 3)
A procedure to TEST your
hypothesis.

(A fancy way to say you test
your guess to see if you
were right or wrong)


EXPERIMENT
Variable- the factor in an experiment
that is being tested.

A good or valid experiment will
only have 1 variable.

This is so you know that the results
you see are CAUSED by the thing that
you were testing for.
SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS FOLLOW
RULES
An
experimenter
changes one
factor and
observes or
measures what
happens.

CONTROL VARIABLES
The experimenter makes a
special effort to keep other
factors constant so that
they will not effect the
outcome.
Those factors are called
controls.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A
CONTROL?
Controls are NOT being
tested
Controls are used for
COMPARISON

OTHER VARIABLES
The factor that is changed is
known as the independent
variable.
The factor that is measured
or observed is called the
dependent variable.

EXAMPLE OF CONTROLS & VARIABLES
For example, suppose you want to
know how bleach will affect plant
growth.
You will supply your plant with
bleach instead of water and measure
its growth.
You will compare the growth of the
plant watered with bleach to the
growth of the plant given water.

WHAT ARE THE VARIABLES IN YOUR
EXPERIMENT?

Changing what liquid the plant is
given is the independent variable
The growth of the plant after
adding bleach is the dependent
variable
Having a plant that was only given
water is a control variable.

One more thing it is
best to make several
trials with each
independent variable.
REMEMBER: TO BE A VALID
EXPERIMENT:
Two groups are
required --- the control
& experimental groups
There should be only
one variable (one thing
being tested for)

DATA (STEP 4)
Results of the
experiment
May be quantitative
(numbers) or qualitative

DATA
Must be organized
Can be organized
into charts, tables,
or graphs

CONCLUSION (STEP 5)
The answer to the hypothesis
based on the data obtained from
the experiment.

Decide whether your data supports your
hypothesis (you were right) or that your
data disproves your hypothesis (you were
wrong)
Either is O.K.
RETEST (STEP 6)
In order to verify the results,
experiments must be retested.

Anyone should be able to come
along behind you, do the same
experiment and get the exact
same results.