• Scientific Method

    The scientific method is a way to ask and answer scientific questions by making observations and doing experiments. It is how humans "prove" things to each other. All people use it to some degree, from your car mechanic to your doctor. In science, we use the method to create experiments and record it in a lab report.
    All Lab Reports will follow the same basic structure:
    • Question
    • Research
    • Hypothesis
    • Materials
    • Procedure
    • Data - charts
    • Analysis of Data - graphs
    • Conclusion
    These sites may be helpful for more information:

    http://math-and-reading-help-for-kids.org/articles/High_School_Science_Lab_Reports:_Mastering_the_Scientific_Method.html

    http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_scientific_method.shtml

    http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/scientific_method.html

    Scientific Questions or Problems:

    Science lab reports are the written record of using Scientific Inquiry to create an experiment. The experiment being performed should give you data that you can use to determine if your hypothesis is supported. Using simple questions that have a yes or no, either/or, or a number as an answer makes it easier to design the experiments.

    Quiz on Scientific Method


    Control Group - When performing an experiment, you should have a group that does NOT get the independent (manipulated) variable. This makes sure that you are testing what you think you are.

    Example: If you are testing how well different hand soaps clean your hands, you should wash your hands without soap and compare the results. If your hands are cleaner without soap, your experiment isn’t working.

    Independent (manipulated, experimental) variable: The thing you are changing during your experiment, in the above example it would be the different kinds of soap.

    Dependent variable: The thing that changes BECAUSE of the independent variable, it would be how clean your hands get in the example.

    Controlled variables: The things that you need to keep the same to be “fair” in your experiment, because if it is changed it affects the outcome. How dirty the hands are before you begin, the temperature of the water, and the time spent rinsing are all variables that you must “control”, that is keep the same, in the example.


    Conclusion: The last step in a lab report. It should state whether your hypothesis was correct, restate the data, and answer the Question.



    In summary:

    • Independent variables answer the question "What do I change?"
    • Dependent variables answer the question "What do I observe?"
    • Controlled variables answer the question "What do I keep the same?"
    • Extraneous variables answer the question "What uninteresting variables might mediate the effect of the IV on the DV?"  Extraneous variables should have been controlled, but that is not always possible.   


    http://math-and-reading-help-for-kids.org/articles/High_School_Science_Lab_Reports:_Mastering_the_Scientific_Method.html

    http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_scientific_method.shtml

    http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/scientific_method.html