# Exploring the Scientific Method

Exploring the Nature of Science Background Information: Science is a process, a way of acquiring knowledge through observations and experimentation. The scientific method is a an organized series of steps of gathering information in order to answer questions about the natural world. Even though we show the scientific method as a series of steps, keep in mind that new information or thinking might cause a scientist to back up and repeat steps at any point during the process! Its more like a cycle! #1 Exploring the Nature of Science Place the following in the correct location: Collect Information

Analyze Data and Draw Conclusions Form a Hypothesis Ask a Testable Question Publish Findings Perform Experiment to Test Hypothesis #2 Form a Hypothe sis Exploring the Nature of Science **Ask a Testable Question and Collect Information** Questions arise from scientific inquiry Inquiry is simply thinking about something!

Inquiry begins with observations The processing of observations leads to inferences Observation: a direct method of gathering information Inference: logical conclusions drawn from previously collected information (observations) #3 Define these terms and complete the Observation vs. Inference practice! Exploring the Nature of Science Hypothesis: a scientific and testable explanation based on collected information and observations Typically written in an IfThen format If I do this, then I predict that this will happen. Why form a hypothesis? The support or rejection of a hypothesis determines the validity of an experiment

If the data supports the hypothesis: the investigation is accepted as valid If the data rejects the hypothesis: the hypothesis is rejected and additional investigations are conducted #4 HYPOTHESIS **Form a Hypothesis** Exploring the Nature of Science ** Perform an Experiment** Experiments are designed to answer the question and test the hypothesis. A good experiment must be a controlled and reproducible procedure

#5 Tests effects of only ONE manipulated variable Other scientists must be able to repeat experiment and draw the same conclusions Exploring the Nature of Science ** Perform an Experiment** Remember, a good experiment only manipulates (tests) one factor at a time so that conclusions can be drawn. All other factors must remain constant. Constant Variables factors that remain the same from one test group to the next

Independent Variable factor in experiment that is being changed (tested) by the scientist. Dependent Variable factor in the experiment that is being measured in order to draw a conclusion. #6 Define these terms and complete the Experimental Variables practice! Exploring the Nature of Science ** Perform an Experiment** EXPERIMENT EXPERIMENTAL GROUP(s) Check the results in time

#7 Difference is the Independent variable Measure and compare the Dependent variable CONTROL GROUP Check the results in time To design an experiment, you must split your testing subjects into groups:

Control Group The comparison group. Does not contain the changed (independent) variable. Experimental Group(s) Contain(s) the changed, independent variable. Exploring the Nature of Science **Analyze Data and Draw Conclusions** Data any information gained from observations Data can be Quantitative measurements (quantities) that can be taken Examples: time, temperature, length, mass, area, volume (NUMBERS) Qualitative physical traits (qualities) that can be described Examples: sights, smells, sounds, taste (descriptions collected by senses) Can be interpreted differently by different people #8

Which type of data would you consider to be stronger and why? Exploring the Nature of Science **Analyze Data and Draw Conclusions** Metric system- a measurement system used worldwide by scientists based on multiples of 10 Mass- grams (g) Volume- liters (L) Distance- meters (m) Temperature- Celsius (OC) #9 Data is typically organized in some way pictures, tables, graphs, etc Organizing data allows scientists to more easily see trends/patterns and therefore draw stronger conclusions

Exploring the Nature of Science **Analyze Data and Draw Conclusions** A good conclusion Restates the results (summarizes data) Addresses the hypothesis (supported or rejected) Interprets meaning (answers the experimental question) Gives suggestions for future investigations #10 What this looks like According to the data, plants given fertilizer grew an average of 5 cm more than plants not given fertilizer. The hypothesis of If plants are given fertilizer, growth will increase is supported. Therefore, it can be concluded that adding fertilizer will lead to better growing plants. In the future, more tests can be done to investigate the effectiveness of different brands of fertilizers.

Exploring the Nature of Science **Publish Findings** If the hypothesis is rejectedhypothesis is modified and new experiments are performed. If hypothesis is supportedresults are formally communicated in written reports published in scientific journals. Other scientists can analyze the design/conclusions and repeat the experiment themselves. Repeatability is a good check on validity! #11 Exploring the Nature of Science Scientific investigations begin with inquiry (thinking about something!). One day, you and your buddies are playing basketball in PE and you look around. You notice that most of you are sweating, breathing quickly, and red in the face. You start to wonder

How does physical activity affect your heart rate? #12 Lets perform an experiment to test your question! You head home and decide to collect a little background research on blood flow, pulse, and heart rate. Use your device to collect your research! Exploring the Nature of Science Now that you have collected your background research, form your hypothesis. Review card #4 to form a strong hypothesis! - Two individuals will calculate their average RESTING heart rate over 60 seconds If a persons activity level increases, then

because - Both individuals will perform a MODERATE physical activity and calculate their average heart rate over 60 seconds To the right you can see the outline of your experimental procedure. Before conducting this experiment, identify your experimental variables. #13 Review card #6 if needed! - Both individuals will perform an INTENSE physical activity and calculate their average heart rate over 60 seconds Exploring the Nature of

4. Perform jumping jacks in place for 30 SECONDS. After your jumping jacks, count your number of heart beats for 60 seconds. Perform this test three times in order to calculate your AVERAGE JUMPING JACK (INTENSE ACTIVITY) HEART RATE in BPM. Exploring the Nature of Science Organizing your data into pictures, tables, and graphs allows you to more easily interpret patterns and trends. Create a bar graph which visually represents your collected data averages. Things to keep in mind. - Be sure to give your graph a TITLE and LABEL the X and Y Axis - The INDEPENDENT VARIABLE goes along the X axis of your graph - The DEPENDENT VARIABLE goes along the Y axis of your graph #15

- If done correctly, you should have three bars Exploring the Nature of Science Draw a conclusion! The time has come to interpret meaning from your collected data! Refer back to card #10 for information on what makes up a good quality conclusion. Be sure to include ALL parts in your written paragraph. #16 Exploring the Nature of Science The final step in any good scientific investigation is to communicate your results and publish your findings! Compare your data and share your conclusion with at least two other groups.

Discuss the following: How do your conclusions compare with one another? Come up with at least one explanation for any discrepancies (differences) in your beats per minute averages. #17

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