What is Scientific Method?
The Scientific method is a process with the help of which scientists try to investigate, verify or construct an accurate and reliable version of any natural phenomena. They are done by creating an objective framework for the purpose of scientific inquiry and analyzing the results scientifically to come to a conclusion which either supports or contradicts the observation made at the beginning.
Scientific Method Steps
The aim of all scientific methods is the same, that is, to analyze the observation made at the beginning but there are various steps adopted as per the requirement of any given observation. However, there is a generally accepted sequence of steps of scientific methods.
- Observation and formulation of a question: This is the first step of a scientific method. In order to start one, an observation has to be made into any observable aspect or phenomena of the universe and a question needs to be asked pertaining to that aspect. For example, you can ask, “Why is the sky black at night? or “Why is air invisible?”
- Data Collection and Hypothesis: The next step involved in the scientific method is to collect all related data and formulate a hypothesis based on the observation. The hypothesis could be the cause of the phenomena, its effect or its relation to any other phenomena.
- Testing the hypothesis: After the hypothesis is made, it needs to be tested scientifically. Scientists do this by conducting experiments. The aim of these experiments is to determine whether the hypothesis agrees with or contradicts the observations made in the real world. The confidence in the hypothesis increases or decreases based on the result of the experiments.
- Analysis and Conclusion: This step involves the use of proper mathematical and other scientific procedures to determine the results of the experiment. Based on the analysis, the future course of action can be determined. If the data found in the analysis is consistent with the hypothesis, it is accepted. If not, then it is rejected or modified and analyzed again.
It must be remembered that a hypothesis cannot be proved or disproved by doing one experiment. It needs to be done repeatedly until there are no discrepancies in the data and the result. When there are no discrepancies and the hypothesis is proved beyond any doubt, it is accepted as a ‘theory’.
Scientific Method Examples
Following is an example of the scientific method:
Growing bean plants:
- What is the purpose: The main purpose of this experiment is to know where the bean plant should be kept inside or outside to check the growth rate and also setting the time frame as four weeks.
- Construction of hypothesis: The hypothesis used is that the bean plant can grow anywhere if the scientific methods are used.
- Executing the hypothesis and collecting the data: Four bean plants are planted in identical pots using the same soil. Two are placed inside and the other two are placed outside. Parameters like the amount of exposure to sunlight, amount of water all are the same. After completion of four weeks, all the four plants sizes are measured.
- Analyze the data: While analyzing the data, the average height of plants should be taken into account from both the places to determine which environment is more suitable for growing the bean plants.
- Conclusion: The conclusion is drawn after analyzing the data.
- Results: Results can be reported in the form of a tabular form.