A Scientific Method Worksheet can be a valuable tool for students in the sciences. I recently took a workshop on molecular biology, and it covered many topics, but in particular this topic: How do you know if your model fits the data? My workshop instructor suggested that we use a scientific method worksheet as a guideline to our thinking.
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The first step of the scientific method is observation. Students can use their Worksheet to record the observations they make during the workshop. They can do this anywhere at anytime, even after class, so they will have a record of what they did. This can be a valuable exercise to reinforce observation skills.
The second step is hypothesis testing. Students can make their own hypothesis about a topic by writing a paragraph detailing their idea and including a link to an online source with more information. Then they can complete additional steps like replicating and/or analyzing the hypothesis. The worksheet can be used as a notebook or as a worksheet to record multiple sets of results and compare the results. A review of the hypothesis by another student can also be valuable to reinforce the underlying science.
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The third step is the measurement. Once students have determined their hypothesis, they can make a quantitative comparison between actual and predicted results. They can do this using a Worksheet that has multiple cells with labeled cells indicating numbers (in range), time (in minutes), temperature (in Fahrenheit), and volume (in ml). A student can write a value (for example, mean temperature) to compare against the actual temperature or the measured value. A scientific method worksheet helps here too. A student can record experimental results, write down their hypothesis, and compare the results with their worksheet.
Another important part of a hypothesis is testing. This is the comparison of the predicted result with what actually occurs. Students can use a Worksheet to describe a set of independent variables and then test to see if the hypothesis is correct. If it is not, they can change it. A scientific practice worksheet helps here too. A student can enter a new value into the worksheet and compare it with the actual value to see if the new value is different, or if the original value is the same.
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The fourth part is observation. Students will need to look at what they observe and make a conclusion about the hypothesis. To do this they can make a series of diagrams showing the way the light bulb will change when the grass seeds are dropped. They can also use a regular graph to show the change in light bulb as the number of grass seeds are dropped. Using a Scientific Method Worksheet, a student can draw a line from the current state to the predicted result, or they can use a dot plot to show the expected change for every drop of grass seeds.
The fifth and final step is synthesis. Once everything has been written down using a Worksheet, and the observation and synthesis have been outlined for each hypothesis, the teacher is ready to present the results. Each student should write down their results on their own paper as the teacher presents them. In order for the hypothesis to be properly tested, the data has to be collected in the right way, and each group must agree with the results. Using a scientific method worksheet can help aid in the creation of hypothesis statements and the gathering of data.
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Every scientific method has exceptions. Students should study the scientific method in their own classrooms, taking notes and drawing on their own based on their own observations. By doing so, they will be able to understand the entire scientific method better, and have better understanding of how the method works. It is up to the teacher to determine which sets of students will follow each specific method, and what criteria will be used to make this determination. This will ensure that the entire class has an understanding of the scientific method as it is used in their own experiment.
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