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Scien-fic

Method
Sing to the tune, “The Pink Panther” by Henry Mancini

Observe, question, hypothesis, design, then make a chart,


And then you can start (whisper, “the experiment”)
Create, a graph, to analyze your data in four parts,
One, two, three, four, ___ pattern, trend, prediction, outliers
Then make a conclusion, write some reflections, you’re done!

1. Observe
Jane plays the midfield position on her soccer team, so she gets a lot of opportunities to kick goals directly in
front of the goalie. She notices (observes) that when she uses her right foot to kick a goal when she is directly in
front of the net and the goalie is in the middle, she always kicks the ball directly at the goalie. That’s not good!

2. Ques-on
Jane asks, “What can I do to stop kicking the ball at the goalie when I’m in front of the net & he’s in the middle?”

3. Hypothesis
Make an educated guess—not a random guess! In other words, think of an answer to your question using what
you already know about the problem. Here’s Jane’s hypothesis:

“IF I practice kicking balls at the left side of a goal that has a cardboard goalie positioned in the middle for 20
minutes a day, THEN I will kick every shot during a game to the left side of the goal by the end of the season.”

Note: Jane didn’t just randomly choose to kick the ball to the left side of the goal using her right foot. Instead, she made an educated
guess! She chose her right foot because it’s her more powerful foot, and she chose the left side of the goal because she knew it’s
easier to kick a ball to the left when using your right foot.

4. Design an Experiment (2 steps)


A. List the materials needed when practicing: ball, goal, cardboard goalie, timer.
B. List the steps to follow: (1) Set the timer for 20 minutes. (2) Kick the ball to the left of the cardboard goalie
using the right foot, every day, until the end of the season. (3) After each game, record the percentage of
shots you were able to kick to the left side of the goal.

5. Chart
Jane needs to create a chart to record the percentage of her shots that she kicked to the left side of the goal
during a game.

Kicks to the LeJ Side of the Goal


Game Percent
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
6. Start the Experiment
After each game, Jane records the percentage of shots she kicked to the left side of the goal.

Kicks to the LeJ Side of the Goal


Game Percent
1 20%
2 20%
3 25%
4 30%
5 30%
6 35%
7 40%
8 40%
9 45%
10 5%
11 50%
12 55%

7. Graph
After the last game, Jane graphed the data she collected in her chart to make it easier to see and analyze. TIP:
the only difference between the chart and the graph is that the graph makes the data easier to see and analyze.

Kicks to the Left Side of the Goal
60

50
40
Percent

30

20
10

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Game
8. Analyze the Data
A. Pattern: Did the data follow a pattern? Yes: 20%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 30%, 35%, 40%, 40%, 45%, etc.?
B. Trend: What was the overall direction of the data—upward, downward, unchanged, or no general direction?
In this experiment, the trend of the data was upward.
C. Prediction: Based on the trend and pattern, predict what the data will be if she continued the experiment
for two more games. Game 13 would likely be 60%, and game 14 would likely be 65%.
D. Outliers: This is any data that doesn’t fit with the other the data. There’s an outlier in game 10—the
percentage of kicks to the left of the goalie decreased to 5%.

8. Make a Conclusion
“I discovered that my hypothesis was… (write either correct or incorrect) incorrect.” Although Jane didn’t shoot
all of her shots at the left side of the goal by the last game of the season, she did improve quite a bit!

9. Write Some Reflec-ons


There are an unlimited number of things Jane could look back on about her experiment. For example: “I want to
do the experiment again, but this time, I’ll use my left foot and aim at the right side of the goal. I think the reason
why my data showed an outlier was because I asked my little brother to record the data for me as he watched
the game number ten. Finally, even though my hypothesis was wrong, I only missed about half of the shots I took
by the last game. That’s a huge improvement over what I did before conducting this experiment! Etc.”
Name _______________________________________________ Date ______________________

Identifying the Steps of the Scientific Method


Two friends played a game called “Slide It”. Each player was given ten attempts to slide a penny into a
three-inch zone at the end of a student desk.

Directions—For each item of the 13 items shown below, record the step of the scientific method that
corresponds with it using the answer bank at the bottom of the page.

1. __________________________ I discovered that my educated guess was correct: when I used my non-
dominant hand, I was able to score at least 3 points in 10 attempts.

2. __________________________ I wonder what would happen if I used two fingers to flick the coin
across the table.

3. __________________________ If I slide the penny using my non-dominant hand, then it will slide into
the scoring zone at least three times for every ten attempts.

4. __________________________ What can I do to make the penny stop in the scoring zone?

5. __________________________ My data shows that on my fourth attempt, I scored 100 points when
it’s only possible to score 1 point per attempt!

6. __________________________ Based on the data I recorded, I think that if I was given two more
attempts (11 and 12), I would not score on the 11th attempt, but I would score on the 12th attempt.

7. __________________________ Now that I’ve finished playing the game and recorded the data, I’ll
make the data easier to see and understand.

8. __________________________ Materials: penny, pencil, paper, and ruler. Procedure: (A) Draw a
three-inch scoring zone on each end of a student desk. (B) Slide a penny ten times using your dominant
hand across a student desk into your partner’s scoring zone. (C) Record the results of your attempts.

9. __________________________ I’ll look at the data I collected very carefully.

10. __________________________ As I carefully looked at the data, I noticed that it repeated in a


predictable way.

11. __________________________ I noticed that when I slid a penny across a student desk while playing
“Slide It”, the penny went past the scoring zone for each of my ten attempts.

12. __________________________ Overall, the direction of the data was upward.

13. __________________________ I’ll get some lined paper to record the data on before starting the
experiment.

A. Observe E. Make a chart then start H. Patterns L. Conclusion


B. Question the experiment I. Trends M. Reflections
C. Hypothesis F. Create a graph J. Predictions
D. Design G. Analyze the data K. Outliers