The Scientific Method

Questions, questions!

Science is all about asking questions.  Learning about the world around us, and trying to understand why it is the way it is.  Scientists use a special process to guide them in how they find their answers, called the Scientific Method.

The Scientific Method is:
Sci Method

Ask: What are you trying to find out?  Questions start with words like “what,” “why,” and “how.”

Do Background Research:  See what other people think and why. You might be able to find the answer to your question!

Construct a Hypothesis:  What do you think the answer might be?  Does your guess agree with what you found out from other people, or do you think it’s something else?

Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment:  This is the fun part!

Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion:  What did you find out?  Did your experiment support your hypothesis?  Maybe a little bit?  Not at all?  Remember, even if your experiment didn’t turn out the way you thought, you still learned something!

Communicate Your Results: Tell other people about your experiment and your results, even if they weren’t what you thought they would be.  That way other people can learn from your experiment too!

When I do a show, we do a slightly simplified version of the Scientific Method.  We ask a question, we make a guess about the answer (our hypothesis), we conduct an experiment, and we talk about what we learned, whether we were correct or not.  Sometimes I will explain why the results of our experiments aren’t what we expected, because other scientists have already studied the things that we are testing. It’s very important to look at the experiments that don’t do what we think they will.  Maybe even more than the ones that “work.”  That’s how we learn new things!  Those are the experiments that lead us to new questions, and more experiments!

Some of my future blog posts will include ideas for experiments, so you can use the steps from the Scientific Method to find some answers.  Do you have any questions you would like to explore and answer?  Don’t forget to tell me all about your results!  I’d love to hear about your experiments!

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