Science 101: What is the Scientific Method?

Science is an exciting subject because we use it all the time; sometimes we don’t even realize we’re thinking in a scientific way. For example, the Scientific Method is a great way to imagine science in action.

The Scientific Method helps you put together experiments, use data to find conclusions and interpret them. In short, the Scientific Method is a step-by-step process:

  • First, observe. Use your senses and take notes about the situation.
    • Then, ask a question about the problem at hand.
    • After that, form a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a potential explanation to your question. 
    • Predict what the hypothesis may lead to and conduct an experiment to test it out.
    • Analyze the data to draw a conclusion from your findings. 
    • Share your results.

Here’s one way the Scientific Method can be applied in real life: 

  • Imagine you’re about to drive somewhere, but when you try to start your car, nothing happens. That’s the observation. 
  • Then, you ask yourself: How can I solve this problem?
  • Here’s a potential hypothesis: There’s something wrong with the car.
  • Predict more specifics: 
    • Dead battery
    • Ignition issue
    • Empty gas tank
  • Next, test your predictions:
    • Turn on the headlights
    • Check spark plug wires
    • Dip a stick into the gas tank.
  • Analyze your results:  
    • Headlights work
    • Strong ignition spark
    • No gas on the dipstick, even though the gas gauge reads half-full 
  • Then, draw a conclusion. The car is out of gas; it’s the gauge that was showing an inaccurate gas level.  
  • In many cases, you may want to communicate your conclusion to others. Here, it would suffice to take charge of the solution to fill up the gas tank. You may need to share your results with a friend or roadside service to help you get some gas.

If you have more questions, add them below. 

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