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Scientific Method - Chapter 1 Project

Scientific Method

Scientific Method Project

For this project, you will be using the scientific method to research any physics topic you want. Make sure to turn in both a 1-page paper explaining your steps and experiments, and a poster board with a flow chart showing your steps.

The steps for the project:
1. Chose a Topic and Category
Ask yourself "What am I interested in?".
Motion, space, scientists, etc.

2. Identify a Problem or Question
What questions do you have about your topic? What do you want to know? State the problem as a question.
How does amount of water effect plant growth?
How does solar power work?
Why don’t we fall off the Earth?

3. Research the Problem and your Topic
What do you need to learn to solve your problem or answer your question? Where can you search for information?
Make sure you use intellectual and educational websites or the library for your research.

4. Develop a Hypothesis
Now that you have done your research, develop a hypothesis. Remember, a hypothesis is a prediction. What is your prediction of the answer to your question? What do you think will happen? This is also called an "Educated Guess".
Examples of hypothesis statements:
I predict that a plant that does not get enough water will die.
I predict that gravity is the reason we do not fall off the Earth.

5. Design the Experiments
How will you test your hypothesis? You must test enough samples to prove your point.
Define the variables that will change from one experiment to the next. Amount of water? Amount of plant food?
Plan the tests you want to perform so that you have a good idea how much time you will need to complete them.

Example experiments:
9 plants total
3 tested with low amount of water
3 tested with the recommended amount of water (control group)
3 tested with too much water
9 battery operated items total tested with a solar panel
3 that use 2 AA cell batteries
3 that use 2 C cell batteries
3 that use 2 D cell batteries

6. Test your hypothesis
Test your hypothesis by executing your experiments. Be sure to keep good records of your experiments so that you can analyze your results and present your data to others. Make a journal to record and organize all your data.

7. Analyze the data and results
What do your results tell you? Look at your experimental data. Organize it. Do you see any trends or information that proves or disproves your hypothesis?
Graphs are a big help.

8. Formulate and Report your Conclusions and make recommendations.
Was your hypothesis right or wrong? It is fine to be wrong. The objective of the scientific method is to investigate a problem and work toward a solution. Sometimes you will end an experiment and have new questions. If so, those new questions are part of your conclusions. Sometimes a conclusion proposes a new hypothesis and new experiments with recommendations for further study.