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Scientific Investigation

Method of Scientific Investigation


Scientific Method
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The scientific method or scientific process is fundamental to scientific


investigation and to the acquisition of new knowledge based upon physical evidence
by the scientific community.
Scientists use observations and reasoning to propose tentative explanations for
natural phenomena, termed hypotheses.
The scientific method is a systematic approach to research. It consists of the
following steps:
Identifying problem
Making hypothesis
Plannig the investigation
Identifying and Controlling Variable
Conducting the experiment
Collecting and recording data
Analysing and interpreting data
Making conclusion
Preparing the report

Steps in the Scientific Method


Making observation
1.
An investigation usually begins with an observation on a phenomenon.
2.
Observation is to observe and gather the information about the phenomenon.
Making an Inference
1.
After gathering sufficient information, we make an inference, or early conclusion,
based on what has been observed.
2.
The inference may or may not be true and need to be proven true or false with
further investigation.
3.
Making an inference is a process to form an early logical conclusion to explain
the phenomenon.
Identifying problem
Asking question based on the inference made to identify the problem related to the
observation.
Making a hypothesis
1.
A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon.
2.
Normally, it is a general statement about the relationship between the
manipulated variable and a responding variable in order to explain the question
asked.
Identifying variables
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A variable is a factor that affects other factors in an experiment.

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In a scientific investigation, we need to identify all related variables.


There are three types of variable, namely
a.
Manipulated variable the factor that is purposely changed in an
experiment
b.
Responding variable the factor that changes with the manipulated
variable
c.
Fixed variables the factors that are kept constant throughout an
experiment. This is to ensure that other factors do not affect the results of the
experiment.

Controlling variables
1.
Deciding how to repeat the experiment several times by using different values of
the manipulated variable.
2.
This step is to test the consistency in the experiment and also to relate the
manipulated variable to the responding variable..
Designing the experiment
1.
Deciding how to carry out the experiment, including determine the material,
apparatus, experiment sets out and the procedure to take.
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Always keep in mind that the main purpose of the experiment is to o test the
hypothesis.
Carrying Out the Experiment
After the planning of the experiment is done, you will need to carry out the experiment
according to the procedure.
Collecting data
1.
Make observations in the experiment by watching and measuring.
2.
Measure the quantities accurately using suitable measuring instruments and
units.
3.
All data are collected and recorded in a proposed table.
Analysing and interpreting data
1.
After collecting the data, you will need to analyse the results of the experiment.
2.
Data analysis is the step to studies information by breaking it down into smaller
parts.
3.
The results can be presented in various forms, such as a table, graph or chart.
Making a conclusion
1.
Draw conclusions based on the observations and results.
2.
State whether the hypothesis is true or false.
Writing the report
1.
A report is written after an experiment is performed.
2.
The format of the report is arranged based on the scientific investigation method
which is performed systematically; starting from the problems identified to the last
stage.
3.
State any precautions taken to overcome problems in the experiment.
4.
A simple diagram of the experiment set-up would sometime be useful.