How do scientists make new discoveries? How do we know their research is accurate and valid? They use the scientific method, of course! The scientific method is an organized, specific way of learning. You can use the scientific method too.
Steps of the Scientific Method
- Ask a question. Benjamin Franklin asked, “Does lightning carry electricity?” Sir Isaac Newton asked, “Why do things that go up always come down?” Ask questions that intrigue you. Make sure your questions are specific and can be tested, researched and answered.
- Form a hypothesis. Do research. Read books, talk with teachers and parents, and make your own observations. Make an educated guess (a hypothesis) about what you think the answer to your question is.
- Conduct experiments and make observations. Make sure your experiments are based on evidence and fact, not opinion or emotion. Do the experiment more than once. Record your results.
- Come to a conclusion. Was your hypothesis correct? If not, form a new hypothesis and try again. Maybe your hypothesis was correct, but you have more questions. Now you get to start the scientific method all over again.
Scientific Method: an organized, thorough method for asking questions and finding answers
Hypothesis: a belief, based on logic and observation, but not backed up by experimentation
Theory: an idea supported by experimentation. Theories can change as new information is added.
Law: a scientific idea that has been confirmed to be true through numerous experiments
Q and A
Question: Why is the scientific method important?
Answer: Because scientists are human and humans make mistakes. The scientific method helps scientists come to accurate and safe conclusions. Imagine taking a medicine that was made by a scientist who merely thought the medicine would be a good idea without conducting any research. Yikes! The scientific method helps ensure safer products.
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