Using The Scientific Method
The scientific method, also known as the scientific process, is a method used to test out experiments and solve different hypotheses. There are several steps that help to prepare, test, and evaluate the results of your testing.
It takes a question or problem that needs to be solved to begin the process. Once the question or problem is determined a hypothesis or good guess of what will happen is formed.
Once the question and hypothesis are determined, it is time to prepare to do the experiment to test out the hypothesis.
First the materials need to be gathered and then the steps needed to do the experiment are decided. This is the procedure.
It is important to observe what happens as the experiment progresses. These observations will help to determine if things are working or not. This is also referred to as data collection.
Once the experiment is complete, studying the data results will help to determine if the hypothesis was correct or not. Data analysis is necessary if we want an accurate evaluation.
The final step is the conclusion. Was our hypothesis correct or not? Based on the observations and data results, this can help with deciding the next steps. If the hypothesis was correct we were successful. if the hypothesis was not correct, we can try to figure out what went wrong and revise our experiment to try again.
Egg Drop Experiment
My grandson just completed an egg drop experiment with his grade 2/3 class. They started out the process with a class discussion of what would happen if an egg was dropped off a roof. They then discussed ways they could protect the egg so it wouldn't break.
Once they came up with some possible solutions, they were challenged with the task to invent a way to protect the egg from breaking when it was dropped.
The challenge was accepted and each student came up with a plan. They created their inventions and then the teacher took all the egg contraptions to the roof. The ultimate test was about to begin.
The students cheered as each egg was dropped from the roof. Did it break? According to the teacher, about half of the eggs did not break. That's a pretty good result.
Here is my grandson with his invention. Apparently it broke a few times during the trials at home, but when it mattered, it did not break.
You can see the egg is still intact.
Another student made a similar design, but he had a parachute attached to it. My questions to the class would be:
"How are the two designs similar?"
"How are they different?"
"Did the parachute make a difference?" "Was it needed?"
I am not sure how the results were tallied or what happened next in his classroom, but it made me think about all the different types of experiments I did with my classes while I was still teaching.
When I talked with my grandson after the experiment, I asked what they had done to prepare for the experiment. He had used the steps of the scientific method but didn't realize it. I suspect that the teacher will be sharing this method with the class soon. That is only a guess, but it would make sense.
The Scientific Method
I created a resource using the scientific method for my students to use when we did the various experiments. It was a way to document the scientific process that was used while working through the experiment. I found it to be an effective tool for organizing their thoughts and observations. You can click the image below to check it out.
There are so many different great experiments that kids can try to practice using the scientific method. The egg drop experiment is only one idea. I will share a few other ideas next time.
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About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.