The Scientific Method
Question: The research question is the
single most important part of the scientific method.
Every part of your project is done to answer
The hypothesis is an educated guess, formed
as a statement, that you propose to be the answer to the research
Experimental Design: Plan
an experiment in which you
can test your hypothesis.
The experiment will contain elements that do not change (called
controlled variables) and elements that will change (called manipulated
The control is a particular sample that is treated the same as
rest of the samples except that it is not exposed to manipulated
When you interact with your experiment, you are using your
All scientists keep a record of their data in some form of a
journal. The journal will begin with the
date and time the experimenter collects the data. Then
the data entry is made. Entries must be
written clearly and with
detail of description so that another scientist can read the journal,
the conditions of the experiment, and repeat the experiment.
As you observe your experiment, you will need to record the
your experiment. Data can be whatever you observe that you expect to
change. It can be pH, temperature, a
measurement of growth, color, amount, etc.
Charts & Graphs:
When at all possible, illustrations of data are advisable. They
professional appearance and convey a great deal of information.
all supplies and equipment.
procedure is a somewhat detailed, step -
by - step description of how you conducted your experiment.
results is a statement, or
interpretation, of the data.
conclusion is a summary of the research
and the results of the experiment. You
state here if your data supported your hypothesis or not.
You may have data that supported part of your
hypothesis and not another part. You may
also have data that did not support your hypothesis. In this case, you
explain why the results were different.
application is how the information gained
in the experiment can be used. It is not
often included in science fair projects.
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of the most important things for a
student to do is recognize the people and resources used in developing
conducting the project. Name the
who offered knowledge or helped and list the web sites, retail stores,
magazines, books, computer programs, etc.
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