Scientific Method

Copy the objectives and agenda into your daily work organizer,
then complete the Catalyst.
Catalyst (Do Now):
On your daily work organizer, make at least 5 observations
about this picture. Use complete sentences.
Observations, Inferences, and
the Scientific Method
August 8, 2012
Let Your Goals Guide You…
• Today is the first day of academic work.
• Some of your goals are…
– “to get straight A’s”
– “to pass all my classes”
– “do my best”
– “go to college” – UCLA, USC, etc.
– “become a professional…” - basketball player,
surgeon, OBGYN, auto/civil/structural engineer,
• Remember your goals as you work hard today!
• I can compare and contrast quantitative
observations, qualitative observations, and
• I can identify the six steps of the scientific
method in sequence.
Observations and Inferences Demonstration
Introduction to the Scientific Method
Scientific Method Case Study
Exit Slip
Definition: actually witnessed
• Qualitative
– Use of senses (Ex: This coffee is hot.)
• Quantitative
– Numbers and measurements (Ex: This coffee is 160°F.)
Definition: an explanation based on background
information and experience. An interpretation of an
Ex: It must be around 7 a.m. because Ms. Boon is drinking coffee.
The inference that it’s around 7 a.m. is based on observations made
in the past that when Ms. Boon is drinking coffee, it is the morning.
Demonstration: Practice Making
Quantitative Observations
Qualitative Observations
Demonstration Debrief
• Circle your observations that are actually
The Scientific Method:
6 Steps
• Question
• Hypothesis
• Procedure
• Data
• Analysis
• Conclusion
An every-day working method
• Scenario:
– You arrive at home at night, try to switch on the light and
nothing happens…..
• Hypothesis:
– You guess that … going on
• Experiment Procedure and Data Gathering
– You come up with a plan and test your guess
• Analysis
– Did it work? Or not
• Conclusions
– And what next?
Before the Experiment
1. Investigative Question:
– Observation: Identify a problem
interesting to you.
– What do you want to know or
2. Hypothesis:
– What do you think will happen?
– Prediction, guess an explanation
for the problem
– Needs to be testable
The Experiment
3. Procedure: Design an experiment.
Plan: How will you test your hypothesis?
Materials: what do you need to test the
Procedure: a step by step plan of your
Safety Rules: the precautions to be followed
during the experiment
4. Data: Perform the experiment
Follow your plan
Collect and record the data
After the Experiment
5. Analysis
Look at the data, organize them (data tables,
Are the data consistent and reliable?
Compare data to your hypothesis
6. Conclusions
Reflect on your analysis
Does the experiment address the problem?
Do the data support or contradict your
Can you extend your observations to other
Do you need more experiments to prove or
disprove your hypothesis?
Are there alternative explanations?
What if your data do not support your
A. The experiment was a waste of time
B. The experiment had flaws, redesign it and do
the new experiment
C. The experiment went well, so repeat it again
and again until it supports your hypothesis
D. The experiment went well. Use the collected
data to change hypothesis and design new
experiment to test it.
Practice: Scientific Method
•Worksheet 1: “The Strange Case of BeriBeri”
•Worksheet 2: More Scientific Method Practice
•Worksheet 3 (Homework): How Penicillin was
Exit Slip 1: Observations and Scientific
• Put all your materials away except for a pencil
or pen.
• Work silently on the exit slip.
• When you are done, turn over your exit slip
and wait silently.

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