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The Scientific Method How to successfully complete your science project using the…
How to successfully complete your
science project using the…
The Scientific Method
Created by: Alicia R. Martinez
Getting Started
Oh, no…you’ve been
assigned by your teacher
to do a science project
and you don't know
where to begin. Well, a
science experiment is
nothing more than a way
to solve a problem.
Taking a closer look at the…
Scientific Method
Choosing a Topic
A good topic has a problem that can be answered
only by experimenting.
If the topic is broad or general, too many factors
(variables) will exist that cannot be controlled and
you will find it hard to produce reliable results.
Visit the following sites if you need ideas for a topic:
http://school.discovery.com/siencefaircentral/scifailstudio/ideas.html
http://www.infowest.com/life/projects/htm
http://www.ipl.org/div/kidscplace/projectguide/sci_method.html
http://www.scifair.org/articles/sm.shtml
http://www.madscience.org
http://edweb.tusd.k12.az.us./jtindell/
Title
Your project will need a title because it lets people know
what you have worked on.
The title should be in the form of a statement, unless
you use the problem statement as your title. Then it
should be in the form of a question.
Examples:
Poor Title: Soap Powder
Better General Title: Cleaning Power Of Soap
Powder
Problem Statement as Title: Which Detergent
Powder Is the Best Cleaner of Ketchup Stains?
Problem Statement
The problem is the scientific question to be solved, in other
words…the question tells people what you are trying to
find out.
It is always written in the form of a question, even if it is
used as the title.
Example:
Poor Problem Statement: How does detergent work?
Better Problem Statement: Which powder detergent works
best in removing ketchup stains on cotton fabric? (Gain,
Background Information
Books, encyclopedias, magazines, or experts in a field can give you
background information to help you understand your topic.
This information will not answer your questions, but it will give you
ideas about your topic.
For example, you may read about soap and what it is made of, and
include it in your project report, but you still have to do the experiment
to get the answer to your questions. Begin collecting information for
your bibliography.
Access to online resources (subscription paid for by M-DCPS)
http://virtuallibrary.dadeschools.net
username: miamidade
password: miamidade
Hypothesis
After getting information about your topic, you need to form
a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a guess about what you think
the answer to your questions may be and needs to be
written in an “If…, then…” statement. The experiment will be
performed to test the hypothesis.
Example:
My hypothesis is that if Gain detergent is used to remove
the ketchup stain on the cotton fabric, then the ketchup
stain will be removed better than with detergents Tide and
Arm and Hammer.
Materials
This is a list of all the materials and supplies used in the
project. Quantities and amounts of each should also be
included and be stated using the METRIC SYSTEM only
Poor Example: brands of soap, shirts with ketchup stains,
containers, and water
Good Example:
450 mL of each detergent (50 mL of Gain detergent, 50
mL of Tide detergent, 50 mL of Arm and Hammer
detergent per trial).
450 mL of Heinz ketchup (50 mL per trial).
3,600 mL of water (400 mL per trial).
3 - 20 cm x 30 cm bin
9 - 12cm x 12cm pieces of cotton material
Procedures
In the procedure the steps used to complete the project are listed. This
is usually presented in a numbered format, in such a way that others
can reproduce the procedures. Remember the experiment must be
conducted 3 times for accuracy.
Example:
1. Label three containers with the name of each detergent (Gain, Tide, Arm and
Hammer)
Pour 50mL of each detergent in its corresponding container.
Add 400mL of water to each container.
Pour 50mL of ketchup on each of the 3 pieces of cotton material.
Place one piece of material in each container and let each piece of fabric soak in
water for 30 minutes.
6. Remove the pieces of fabric and rinse each with tap water for 1 minute and let it
dry for 24 hours.
7. Record data using the following scale (“0”-not clean through “5”- very clean)
8. Repeat steps 2-7 two more times for accuracy.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Controlled Variables/Constants
This is what stays the same in your experiment to ensure that you
will be fair and unbiased when conducting the tests . For example,
for the mentioned experiment the controls would be the following:
- Using the same amount of water and
detergent in all trials.
- Same amount of ketchup
- Letting the pieces of fabric soak in the water for the
same amount of time to ensure that all three detergents
get the same amount of time to remove the stain.
- Same amount time each piece of material is rinsed
under the tap water.
Independent Variable
This is the one element that you are
testing or manipulating.
- the different brands of detergent
Dependent Variable
This is the one element that is
responding.
- the ketchup stain
Data
What did you see? Record all your observations
in a log or lab sheet. Create tables, graphs,
charts, illustrations and other visual data. Data will
not be discussed in this section. Don’t forget to
take pictures.
Results
The results are a statement of what was found
according to the data. It should be quantitative
data, if not, create a scale for your observations.
For example utilize a scale of “0” (not clean)
through “5” (very clean).
Example:
After conducting my experiment 3 times, the
results were that Gain detergent had an average of
5, Tide detergent had an average of 3 and Arm
and Hammer detergent had an average of 2.
Conclusion
In the conclusion, the results of the experiment is evaluated
and interpreted as it relates to the problem statement. Answers
the questions, “What was the purpose of the investigation?”,
“Was your hypothesis supported by the data?”, “What were the
major findings?”, and “What are possible reasons for the
results?”.
Gain removed the entire ketchup stain, while the other two
detergents partially removed the ketchup stain. Therefore I
accept my hypothesis that Gain was going to remove the
ketchup stains the best on cotton fabric. The purpose of this
investigation was to find the most effective detergent in
removing stains. A possible reason for the fact that Gain was
the most effective could be that it is the most expensive of the
three detergents tested.
Applications
Answers the questions, “How can the investigation be
improved?”, “How can you use the findings from this
investigation in your daily life?”, and “What new question(s)
has your experiment lead you to ask that could be tested
in a new investigation?”.
Example:
My investigation can be improved by including additional
brands of detergents and possibly an extra trial. The
information I learned can be useful because it will help
consumers purchase the best type of detergent to remove
ketchup stains. After conducting my experiment, I wonder
if different temperature of the water will really have an
effect on removing ketchup stains.
Acknowledgments
You should make a list of anyone who may
have helped you, including your parents,
teacher, companies, etc. Be specific and
tell what they did to assist you in this
project.
Abstract
This is a short summary of the entire project. It must include purpose,
procedure, and results in a paragraph form. You should limit yourself to no more
that 250 words. The abstract is usually the first item the judge looks at after the
title.
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this scientific investigation was to (PROBLEM STATEMENT)
________________________________________________________________.
My hypothesis is that if _____________________________, then __________.
In order to conduct my experiment, I (PROCEDURES)
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
After my experiment the results were that : (RESULTS)___________________
_______________________________________________________________
Therefore, I accept/reject my hypothesis that (HYPOTHESIS)______________
_______________________________________________________________
(If rejected…) My hypothesis was not supported by the results because…(state a possible
reason) ____________________________________________________.
One way that I can improve my project is by… (more trials, duration, other changes)
______________________________________________________________.
Project Report
This report contains all of the components included
in the science display board, plus a title page,
background information, table of contents and
acknowledgements. It is preferable for the report to
be processed on a computer, but a neat handwritten copy will be accepted.
Table of Content
Abstract....................................2
Problem Statement ..................3
Cleaning Power
of Detergent
Powder
Background Information...........4
Hypothesis…….………………..5
Materials………………….……..6
Procedures……………….……..7
Variables…………………….…..8
Data………………….…………..9
Results…………………….……10
Conclusion……………………..11
Grade 5
Room 205
Application……………………..12
Acknowledgements…….…..…13
Bibliography……….…………..14
Pages must be
numbered!
Very Important to Remember
●Mom and Dad can help, but YOU have to do
the experiment YOURSELF.
●Keep it simple.
●Include all of the components and steps in your
experiment.
●The science project is worth 10-12 grades!
●Turn in the components and the display board
on time.
●HAVE FUN!
We hope that you will find this
process educational AND
enjoyable!
Questions???
Fly UP