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Overview of the Scientific Method For Kids

Organize your science fair project by doing all the
steps of the scientific method for kids.
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It's a Cinch... Step by Step

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Overview - Scientific Method

Before we begin, let's make an important distinction. There is a difference between pure research and performing a task. Researchers do not have an outcome or solutions in mind when they make their hypothesis. Whatever the findings turn up after their experiment is done, they say, "Oh, OK".

Thomas Edison performed a task. He was looking for a specific outcome. He wanted to make a light bulb that would last for hours. Do you see the difference?

Now you know why science fair projects are so much fun! You are asked to do pure research.

The scientific method is the way scientists get from asking a question to finding an answer. Make a guess - hypothesis. Take a look- observations. Write down observations - data. Make a picture of what you observed - graph, charts, tables. Decide what it means - conclusions.


Steps of the Scientific Method

Q. What is the scientific method?
A. It is a series of steps that lead you from a question to an answer.

Q. How does it differ from the engineering design process?
A. Engineers create something new, whereas scientists study nature and how it works.*

Q. What is the first step of the scientific method?
A. Observe something interesting in the natural world and formulate a question about it.

Q. What is the next step?
A. Do some research around the subject.

Q. What is the third step?
A. Based on your research and observations, construct a hypothesis.

Q. Is the fourth step to test the hypothesis?
A. Yes. You would do an experiment by which you change one element only. This is called a “fair” test.

Q. What is the next step?
A. Go through all your data, then draw a conclusion.

Q. And the final step is…?
A. You must communicate the results of your experiment, either verifying or refuting the hypothesis.

*If you are unsure about whether your project is scientific or engineering, compare the scientific method with the engineering design process.

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