• Follow Steps to the Scientific Method
     
    Research ... your ideas and any relevant information that supports your experimental design, hypothesis, or general background understanding. Cite your sources! No plagiarism!
                Example: If you are using an oscilloscope, cite the source for defining what it is and what it does.
     
    Purpose
    Focus Question. What do you want to learn, compare, disprove, or test? Avoid asking a "yes/no"answerable or "which is best?" question.             
     
               Example: Which brand of bandages stays on the longest?

     

    Hypothesis
    Prediction; educated guess.
    Possible answer to your question based on gathered info.
     
    Example: I think Cur-aid brand band-aids will stay on the longest because they are the most expensive and that’s what their advertisement claims.

     

    Controlled Experiment
    Tests a hypothesis. 
    Experiment in which ALL but one variable being tested are kept the same in order to make the experiment fair and the results reliable.

     

    Variables
    Any factors in an experiment that could affect the results and are therefore tested separately (like mass, temperature, light, time, amount, age, etc.)
               
               Examples: What variables might affect how long bandages stay on?
                Controlled Variables: Not changed, but kept the same, fair
                                            (Same person’s skin, stuck on same day in same places, etc.)
               Independent Variable: a factor intentionally changed in the experiment
                                              (the brand of bandages)
               Dependent Variable: a factor affected as a result of the independent  variable
                                             (number of days the bandages stay on)

     

    Samples
    Number (#) of items tested in an experiment. (# of  brands, kinds, etc.)
               
                Example: Cur-aid, Equate, and Johnson brands
                will be compared.

               

    Trials
    Number (#) of times running through a procedure in an experiment. (minimum of 3 to be reliable)
               
                Example: Each brand will have 8 bandages tested.

               

    Procedure
    Orderly (step-by-step) directions on how to do the experiment. Give command statements like a recipe.
     
                Example: Day 1: A) Shower and dry well (no lotion).
                B) Attach two bandages of each brand to each
                forearm and each shin (eight total bandages for
                each brand). Day 1-12: A) Observe how well
                bandages stay  attached. B) Record when, where,
                and possible reasons why a bandage falls off as
                soon as noticed.  

     

    Quantitative Observations
    Measurable information (Data) collected using one’s senses and any helpful equipment such as ruler, timer, camera, thermometer, etc. Usually recorded and displayed on a table and on a graph.
               
                Example Data Table: Bandage Lifespan

    Day

    L. Arm

    R. Arm

    L. Shin

    R. Shin

    1

     

    Cur-aid /sweater

     

     

    2

     

     

    Equate/night

     

    3…12

     Cur-aid & Johnson/gym

     

     

     

                Example Graph: Bandage Lifespan Comparison link
     
    Analysis
    Organization and study of RESULTS .

    What did you get? Describe and compare observations and outcomes.

     

    Conclusion
    Compares hypothesis to results, evaluates procedural error and makes recommendations.
    Did you get what you expected?

    How could you have better controlled variables?

    To whom or how are your findings interesting or helpful?