How to Conduct an Experiment Using the Scientific Method

The scientific method was devised to allow scientists to conduct investigations objectively. Here's the method in a nutshell.

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Slap on goggles and a lab coat because you're about to make some scientific discoveries!

You Will Need

  • Observation
  • Hypothesis
  • Prediction
  • Experiment

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Make an observation

    Observe some occurrence or group of occurrences, and describe it.

  2. Step 2

    Make a hypothesis

    Formulate a hypothesis -- an educated guess -- to explain the observation.

  3. Scientists often express hypotheses as cause-effect relationships or mathematical expressions.

  4. Step 3

    Use the hypothesis

    Use the hypothesis to predict new behavior, or the quantitative results of new observations.

  5. Step 4

    Perform an experiment

    Perform an experiment to test the predictions of the hypothesis.

  6. Step 5

    Accept or reject the hypothesis

    Elevate the hypothesis to a theory if the experiment supports the hypothesis. If the experiment does not confirm it, the hypothesis must be discarded or modified.

  7. The Greek philosopher Aristotle is credited with being one of the fathers of the scientific method.

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