The Scientific Method
From Latin “Scire” meaning “to know”.  
The goal is to understand and explain the natural world.  That's it!  To understand and
explain the world around us.  That's our goal.  

We have  a unique way of trying to figure out what's going on though.   Learning about that
system is how we'll begin our study of "Science".  It's how we'll begin to
understand the world around us.

scientific inquiry

Scientific Inquiry

begins when you ask questions, and continues as you look for answers to these questions.  That's what it's all about, asking questions and finding answers.  
Sometimes it's useful to follow a set of processes in order to guide our thinking.  This method of asking questions and looking for answers has at times been responsible for some of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time.  This way of asking questions and looking for answers is called.......

I.  Observing-

When you make observations about the world around you, they fall into two categories,
            Quantitative Observations
, which generally involve numbers or reading some sort of scientific instrument, and
            Qualitative Observations
, which includes pretty much everything else, including things that are a matter of opinion.  

asking scientific questions

II.  Asking Scientific Questions
Scientific questions are different from just any old question because they can be answered by gathering data or collecting information.
Sometimes asking just one question, and finding an answer, can put you on the road to understanding more about this world and the way
it works.  Scientists tend to ask a lot of questions.  Don't be afraid of asking questions people...that's why we're here.

developing hypotheses

III.  Developing Hypotheses
A hypothesis is an idea that can be tested by an  experiment-These ideas are based upon a person’s observations and previous knowledge or experience.
A hypothesis is a possible explanation for a set of observations or an answer to a scientific question.
A hypothesis could also be called an "educated guess".  
Another way of thinking about it, is that a hypothesis is a possible answer to the question you've asked.

developing hypothesesdeveloping hypothesesDeveloping Hypotheses Developing Hypotheses

IV. Testing the Hypothesis
Once you’ve done research and formed a hypothesis,  you’re ready to design and carry out an investigation to find the answer to your question.

         Designing Experiments:
                    An experiment is a set of steps you follow to test a hypothesis.

                    In order for the results to be meaningful, the experiment must be carefully designed. 

                            Identifying Variables:
                                    Variables are factors that can affect the result of an experiment. 
                                    Before you begin any experiment, you must identifiy variables that can affect your results. 
                                    Then, YOU must decide  which variable you want to change. THE INDEPENDENT VARIABLE
                                                                                                                                        (Also called the Manipulated Variable)

                                    Then, YOU must decide which variable you expect to change because of what you did. THE DEPENDENT VARIABLE
                                                                                                                                                                                (Also called the Responding Variable)

                                    Then, YOU must identify all the other variables that might affect the outcome, and make sure that they DON'T change.

                                        These are called the  CONTROL VARIABLES (Sometimes just called "the Controls")

Testing the Hypothesistesting hypothesisTesting the Hypothesis
V.  Gathering Data

The word DATA rhymes with "BAIT", not "BAT".  Scientists who pronounce "DATA' correctly sound cool and sophisticated.  People who pronounce it incorrectly just sound awkward, and a little sad.

Gathering Data

VI. Recording Data
Record your data is a sensible, orderly way using:
                    Diary-like entries ( good for recording general observations.)
                    Charts, Tables, Graphs
                    Organized DATA is happy DATA.

Recording Data

VII.  Analyzing and Concluding
This can be the toughest part.  You've got to figure out what your results mean.  What does your data tell you?  Can you see any answers to your questions?  

Analyzing and Concluding

VIII.  Communicating Results

This might be the most important part.  You've got to let others know what you did, and what you learned.  It's important to be clear and not to leave out any details.  You might have come up with MORE questions that need an answer,  and you 'd report this information as well.  Sometimes, one experiment can lead to many, many future experiments.  One question can lead to many others.  It's the way things work!

Communicating Results

                 LAB REPORTS: are a written summary of how you did your work and the results you obtained.
  A lab report is Science's version of a Book Report. 
                                It's an organized and clear way to report the important facts
about your observations, hypothesis, experiment and the results.
 Scientists all over the world use this same format.
 It's simple, but it makes sense.

Quite simply, this sets the stage for the rest of the lab report. 
In the Introduction section you include your initial observations,
 you often ask a question and you describe your hypothesis. 
The procedure section of a lab report describes EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID AND HOW YOU DID IT.
 If there was any special equipment or materials used, you list them here as well.
 The procedure section is often a step-by-step description of what you did.
 It's similar to a recipe for making food. 
The ingredients are listed, and a step by step description of how to make the food is listed. 

This is the section for recording exactly what happened, or what you found, when you did the things in the procedure section. 
The DATA you collected  is shown in this section. 
Your data may include
 charts, tables and graphs, photographs
 or detailed descriptions of what you observed.
 The conclusion section is your chance to summarize everything in a brief and clear manner. 
You may use this section to describe what you've learned. 
You can use this section to answer the question that you asked in your introduction. 
You might even use this section to suggest future experiments which might be carried out to
 continue looking for answers to your original question.
 You might even ask other questions that  now have arisen due to your original experiment.


Have you been using your powers of observation on this page?
What do the two photographs in WHITE FRAMES have to do with
the REST of the photos on this page?

This is the double secret BONUS QUESTION on the test. 

burn the witch