When you make observations about the world around you, they fall
, which generally involve numbers
some sort of scientific instrument, and
, which includes pretty much everything
including things that are a matter of opinion.
Scientific questions are
just any old question because they
can be answered by gathering data or
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
be afraid of asking questions people...that's why
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
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
IV. Testing the
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.
An experiment is a set of steps you
test a hypothesis.
In order for the results to be
experiment must be carefully designed.
Variables are factors
affect the result of an experiment.
begin any experiment, you must identifiy variables that can
decide which variable you want to change. THE INDEPENDENT
(Also called the Manipulated Variable)
decide which variable you expect to change because of what you
THE DEPENDENT VARIABLE
(Also called the
identify all the other variables that might affect the outcome,
make sure that they DON'T change.
These are called the CONTROL VARIABLES
(Sometimes just called "the Controls")
V. Gathering Data
DATA is INFORMATION.
Data might include NUMBERS, MEASUREMENTS or OBSERVATIONS.
DATA are FACTS.
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.
Record your data is a sensible, orderly way using:
Diary-like entries ( good
recording general observations.)
Charts, Tables, Graphs
Organized DATA is happy
This can be the toughest part.
You've got to figure
out what your
does your data tell you? Can you see any
answers to your questions?
This might be the most
important part. You've got to
others know what you did, and what you learned.
important to be clear and not to leave out any details.
have come up with MORE questions that need an answer, and
report this information as well. Sometimes, one experiment
lead to many, many future experiments. One question can
many others. It's the way things work!
are a written summary of how you did your work and the results
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
Scientists all over the world use this same format.
It's simple, but it makes sense.