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INSTITUCIN EDUCATIVA GENERAL SANTANDER FECHA: DD/MM/AA

SEDE CENTRAL PERIODO: ______


LECTURA COMPLEMENTARIA EL MTODO CIENTFICO

UNDERSTANDING AND USING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

Now that you have a pretty good idea of the question you want to ask, it's time to use the Scientific Method
to design an experiment which will be able to answer that question. If your experiment isn't designed well, you
may not get the correct answer, or may not even get any definitive answer at all.

In this section we will take a look at the method you should use to design your research. This method is the
most important part of science--in fact, it's called the "Scientific Method." The Scientific Method is a way to
make sure that your experiment can give a good answer to your specific question.

STEPS OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD


Observation/Research
Hypothesis
Prediction
Experimentation
Conclusion

The Scientific Method is a logical and rational order of steps by which scientists come to conclusions about
the world around them. The Scientific Method helps to organize thoughts and procedures so that scientists
can be confident in the answers they find. Scientists use observations, hypotheses, and deductions to make
these conclusions, just like you will use the Scientific Method in your science fair project. You will think
through the various possibilities using the Scientific Method to eventually come to an answer to your original
question.

OBSERVATION
This step could also be called "research." It is the first stage in understanding the problem you have chosen.
After you decide on your area of science and the specific question you want to ask, you will need to research
everything that you can find about the problem. You can collect information on your science fair topic from
your own experiences, books, the internet, or even smaller "unofficial" experiments. This initial research should
play a big part in the science fair idea that you finally choose.

Let's take the example of the tomatoes in the garden. You like to garden, and notice that some tomatoes are
bigger than others and wonder why. Because of this personal experience and an interest in the problem, you
decide to learn more about what makes plants grow.

HYPOTHESIS
The next stage of the Scientific Method is known as the "hypothesis." This word basically means "a possible
solution to a problem, based on knowledge and research." The hypothesis is a simple statement that defines
what you think the outcome of your experiment will be.

All of the first stage of the Scientific Method -- the observation, or research stage -- is designed to help you
express a problem in a single question ("Does the amount of sunlight in a garden affect tomato size?") and
propose an answer to the question based on what you know. The experiment that you will design is done to test
the hypothesis.

Using the example of the tomato experiment, here is an example of a hypothesis:


TOPIC: "Does the amount of sunlight a tomato plant receives affect the size of the tomatoes?"
HYPOTHESIS: "I believe that the more sunlight a tomato plant receives, the larger the tomatoes will grow.
This hypothesis is based on:
1. Tomato plants need sunshine to make food through photosynthesis, and logically, more sun means more
food, and;
2. Through informal, exploratory observations of plants in a garden, those with more sunlight appear to grow
bigger.

PREDICTION
The hypothesis is your general statement of how you think the scientific phenomenon in question works. Your
prediction lets you get specific -- how will you demonstrate that your hypothesis is true? The experiment that
you will design is done to test the prediction.

An important thing to remember during this stage of the scientific method is that once you develop a hypothesis
and a prediction, you shouldn't change it, even if the results of your experiment show that you were wrong.

An incorrect prediction does NOT mean that you "failed." It just means that the experiment brought some new
facts to light that maybe you hadn't thought about before. The judges at your science fair will not take points
off simply because your results don't match up with your hypothesis.

Continuing our tomato plant example, a good prediction would be: Increasing the amount of sunlight tomato
plants in my experiment receive will cause an increase in their size compared to identical plants that received
the same care but less light.

EXPERIMENT
This is the part of the scientific method that tests your hypothesis. An experiment is a tool that you design to
find out if your ideas about your topic are right or wrong.

It is absolutely necessary to design a science fair experiment that will accurately test your hypothesis. The
experiment is the most important part of the scientific method. It's the logical process that lets scientists learn
about the world. On the next page, we'll discuss the ways that you can go about designing a science fair
experiment idea.

CONCLUSION
The final step in the scientific method is the conclusion. This is a summary of the experiment's results, and how
those results match up to your hypothesis.

You have two options for your conclusions: based on your results, either
(1) you CAN REJECT the hypothesis, or
(2) you CAN NOT REJECT the hypothesis.

This is an important point. You can not PROVE the hypothesis with a single experiment, because there is a
chance that you made an error somewhere along the way. What you can say is that your results SUPPORT the
original hypothesis.

ACTIVIDAD.

1. Relata el ejemplo expuesto en la lectura, en el cual se aplica el mtodo cientfico y represntalo


con un dibujo
2. Selecciona al menos 15 trminos, de la lectura anterior y con ellos construye una sopa de letras,
los trminos deben permanecer en Ingles.
3. Escribe qu opinas de la actividad realizada anteriormente.