Scientific Process(formerly the scientific method)
• Aristotle (384 BCE-322 BCE or BC)• ancient Greek philosopher
Aristotle• Aristotle, more than any other thinker, determined the
orientation and the content of Western intellectual history. He was the author of a philosophical and scientific system that through the centuries became the support and vehicle for both medieval Christian and Islamic scholastic thought: until the end of the 17th century, Western culture was Aristotelian. And, even after the intellectual revolutions of centuries to follow, Aristotelian concepts and ideas remained embedded in Western thinking.
• In other words, Aristotle was so famous that his work influenced thinking in the Western world from his time to the present.
• This was fine when he was right. But he was so influential that his mistakes were never noticed.
• Aristotle and his contemporaries believed that all problems could be solved by thinking about them.
• Sometimes this worked, other times it did not.
• For example, Aristotle thought that heavy objects would fall faster than lighter ones.
• Now that does seem reasonable at first. And this is how “science” was done in ancient times.
• But what did Aristotle not do?• He never tested his ideas!• The world would have to wait
almost 2000 years for that to happen.
Galileo Galilei•1564-1642 AD or CE
•Lived in what is today Italy
•Is considered to be the first true scientist.
•Because he actually did the experiment.
• Aristotle said that heavy objects fall faster than lighter ones.
• So Galileo asked, “How much faster?”• So he sent students up to the top of a
building and had them drop a heavy ball and a lighter one off at the same time. He had other students waiting below to measure the difference in time between the two hitting the ground.
• Today of course we know what happened. Much to everyone’s surprise both balls hit the ground at about the same time!
• This shows that it is much preferred to test your ideas rather than merely think about them.
• One test is worth a thousand expert opinions. Bill Nye
Key Ideas• When conducting an experiment,
change one factor and keep everything else exactly the same.
• The one thing you change is called the manipulated variablemanipulated variable.
• All the things you keep the same are called controlscontrols..
• The result of each trial is called the responding variableresponding variable
• What was the manipulated manipulated variablevariable in Galileo’s experiment?
• The weight of the balls.• What were some controlscontrols?• Dropped from same height.• Dropped at same time.• Balls had same shape/size.
• What was the responding variable in Galileo’s experiment???
• When the balls hit the ground.
ReviewVariable: theone thing youchange in anexperiment.
Data: theinformation youget when youtest thevariable.
Controls: theparts of theexperiment thatstay the same.
Manipulatedvariable: youchange thisyourself.
Respondingvariable:responds to thechange youmade.
I ndependentvariable: on itsown.
Dependantvariable:depends on thechange youmade.
Scientific Method Steps
• State the problem.• Make a hypothesis.• Conduct the experiment.• Record/analyze data.• Make a conclusion.• Report findings to others so they
can repeat the experiment.
• An educated guess• a prediction• Use “If”, “then” format• We predict that if we drop a ball from
a higher height, then it will bounce higher.
• “If” is the manipulated variable.• “Then” is the responding variable.
• Observations: We use our senses to gather information about the world around us. There are two types of observations.
Qualitative• Qualitative observation: (quality)
Usually made with our senses. • Color, shape, feel, taste, sound.• Olivia is wearing a blue sweater.• The lab tabletop is smooth.• The dog’s fur is shiny.
Quantitative•Quantitative observation: (quantity)
How many. Will always have a number.
•Based on exact measurement.•The room is 8 meters across.•Sarah is 141-cm tall.•Sam weighs 450
• Inference:• A logical interpretation of an event
that is based on observations and prior knowledge.
• What does this mean in 6th grade terms?
• You are at the counter in the office to get a bus pass signed. You see a student leave the principal’s office crying and upset. We could make an inference as to why the student is upset.
• Could be in trouble (ISS, OSS, expelled)• Family problems at home (sick, accident)• Student not feeling well• Student has poor grades (failing, retention)
• Graphs are a useful tool in science.
• The visual characteristics of a graph make trends in data easy to see.
• One of the most valuable uses for graphs is to "predict" data that is not measured on the graph.
• Identify the Variables• Determine the range• Determine the scale• Number and label
each axis• Plot the points• Draw the graph• Give your graph a title
Identify the Variables
– Manipulated Variable - (the thing you changed)
Goes on the X axis (horizontal) Should be on the left side of a data
– Responding Variable - (changes with the independent variable)
Goes on the Y axis (vertical) Should be on the right side of a data