Designing Your Experiment

Designing Your Experiment

This week we are moving on to the next step in the scientific method, designing your experiment. This step is one that you need to pay close attention to, as it will determine how successful your science fair project will be.

By the way, if you have been following this blog this month then you have already learned how to develop a hypothesis and how to conduct your background research.

The first thing that you need to do is to look at your hypothesis and determine how you can create an experiment that will either answer your hypothesis’ question or support it or disprove it. For example, if your hypothesis is “A fire will go out if oxygen is removed from the equation” then your experiment will need to set up a controlled environment where you can remove oxygen from the environment and examine what happens to the fire.

The second part of designing an experiment for your science fair project is to determine what your dependent and independent variables will be. Variables are the factors related to your topic that impact what happens. The independent variable is what you will be manipulating and the dependent variable will be what you will be observing. In the case of the fire experiment, the independent variable will be the oxygen and the dependent variable will be the fire. Your controlled variable is going to be what you keep the same. In this case the fuel and heat sources are the controlled variables, because you aren’t changing them.

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