If you’ve ever had a science project, you may have wondered what is the scientific method. What is the scientific method? Is it really an accurate way of describing what scientists do and why they do what they do? One might think that it would be relatively simple to answer these questions since all it would take is for one to describe their project in some way. Unfortunately, the scientific method as it is used by scientists today is anything but simple.
For starters, what is the scientific method used in order to arrive at a scientific explanation for any data that is observed or measured? The scientific method is nothing more than an empirical approach to acquiring scientific knowledge which has been characterized by the progression of science as from the days of the first microscope. It entails careful observation, using rigorous skepticism regarding what is observed, and the assumption that whatever is seen can be tested. Once a test is conducted and it conclusively points to the existence of a phenomenon, a hypothesis is then tested and confirmed through further investigation. That is the crux of what is the scientific method: only if a hypothesis is rejected, can the scientist not then come up with a better theory to replace it.
In a nutshell, what is the scientific method employed in science projects is to simply observe without trying to discern how that information can be tested and whether or not that theory can be tested and accepted by the scientific community at large. This is the job of the scientist whose observations help to form the basis of theories. If after careful and thorough study, a scientist is unable to point out any physical phenomena that can be explained by the existing theories, then that theory must be discarded. This is what is known as a principle of parsimony in science.
There are many different methods used to arrive at a conclusion regarding what is the scientific method, and each has its enthusiasts as well as detractors. A good example of a failed hypothesis is when a scientist accidentally makes a measurement or find an inconsistency in their data and claim that it points to a new theory. The same can happen if the data which points to a supposed scientific law cannot be explained by the existing theory(s). These types of results are called invalid hypotheses and obviously do not contribute to the understanding of how the world works.
There are some scientists who welcome these types of experiments because they allow them to make more accurate predictions about what is going to happen next. When a hypothesis is rejected, another scientist may come up with a new hypothesis and try to pass it along to other scientists. The problem is that the person proposing the new theory needs to back it up with some real evidence before they can prove themselves right, and sometimes their proof is just bad luck. For instance, someone could propose that there is a new chemical element, and then after they have made some measurements and found it, proclaim that they have discovered the new element.
What is the scientific method then for scientists who make guesses at what is going on instead of following strict hypothesis and procedure? First they gather up all the relevant information they can that can support their hypothesis, and then they make educated guesses. If they are wrong, they must admit that they were wrong, or else they will risk being dismissed. If they are right, they must publish their hypothesis and run with it.
What is the scientific method for a science fair project? Usually what is needed for this type of experiment is a test that can either be theoretical or experimental. To make a test that is both theoretical and experimental, you will need to follow the steps that you used in your hypothesis. This is why doing your own experiment is always best, even though it may mean that you had to do a lot more work.
The results from these experiments are always compared to the hypothesis that you made. If both of them are similar, then the results are accepted as true, and there are no further steps needed to be done. If however, the results are different, then the hypothesis may need to be changed. This is why a hypothesis needs to be very well thought out before you ever put it into practice, and the reason why scientists make sure that they don’t make any mistakes during this process is because mistakes can throw out the entire hypothesis. To learn more about how experiments are done, and the scientific method of making hypothesis and test results, visit our website today.