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Science Connections
Chapter 1 Section 2

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1.5 class periods

[1-2] The Scientific Method A Way of Problem Solving

The purpose of this section is to explain the scientific method. Students will learn that a hypothesis is a proposed solution to the problem and that experiments are used to test the hypothesis.

The themes that can be focused on in this section are systems about our environment.

Systems and interactions: The scientific method is a systematic procedure for exploring questions about our environment.

Energy: Most of the interactions in science involve some sort of energy exchange. The life processes of living organisms, the movement of stars and galaxies, and the changes in our environment all these involve energy.

Performance Objectives 1-2

  1. Describe the steps in the scientific method.
  2. Explain how a hypothesis is developed.
  3. Discuss the importance of a variable and a control in a scientific experiment.


Science Terms 1-2

Scientific method, p.11

Hypothesis, p.12

Variable, p.13

Control, p.13

Data, p.14

  • What do you think should be done if a hypothesis is tested and the experiments prove it false?
  • Suppose an experiment yields inconclusive results? What should be done?

Tape a piece of banner paper to a bare wall. The bottom of the paper should touch the floor, and the top should extend to a height of about 2-m above the floor. Provide students with metersticks and ask them to mark and label the paper beginning at the floor in 10-cm increments. Then encourage volunteers to record their height by standing next to the paper and placing a meterstick on top of their heads. Have a partner hold the stick parallel to the floor and mark the height.

  • How tall are you?
  • How many birthdays have you had in your life?
  • Imagine that your height was recorded on this chart each time you had a birthday. Would the space between each of your marks be the same or different? Why?
  • During which year of your life do you think you grew the most? Why?
  • Look at all the different heights that are displayed by the chart. Describe different ways we could analyze this data.
  • Why is it important that they organize and display their data in a clear and meaningful way?

The basic steps in the scientific method are:

Stating the problem.

Gathering information on the problem.

Forming a hypothesis.

Performing experiments to test the hypothesis.

Recording and analyzing data.

Stating a conclusion.

Repeating the work.

Have students study Figure 1-14, p.18 for test.