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Video: The Scientific Method


Video Summary:

Every scientist across the world uses the scientific method. The method involves a series of steps that are designed to answer specific questions. Scientists start with a question or hypothesis. They then develop a series of tests and experiments designed to test the hypothesis. As they complete the experiments, they make observations and record results. When they are through, they analyze their results and see whether their statement was correct. The tree house gang sits down with Doctor D and learns about the method.

Credits:

NASA LARC Education: http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/
Society of Women Engineers: http://www.swe.org
NASA Quest: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov
YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12jRJKog6Jo

Transcript:

Boy1: Hey Doctor D.

Boy2: I think he can hear you. You're so loud.

Man: Hi Guys. What brings you over? You look a little tired.

Girl1: Some of us are very tired. We didn't get any sleep.

Boy1: Both of our dogs were barking last night.

Boy2: Doctor D, did Bernie bark last night?

Man: No. You know Bernie. He's a little old. Sometimes he's really out of it.

Boy1: Did Bernie ever bark?

Man: Oh yeah sure. Especially when he would smell or hear something he wasn't familiar with. He'd start barking to scare it off.

Girl1: So could there be a strange smell in the air that's making all of the dogs in the neighborhood start barking?

Man: Could be. I thought the tree house detectives would be back working another problem. So I made up this board.

Girl1: Oh. The scientific method. I'll let you in on a little something. The scientific method really helps you to solve problems.

Man: Remember, the scientific method is a step-by-step way to solve problems. You can use it every day.

Girl1: It's all coming back to me now.

Man: I have something fun to show you to help you review the scientific method. Let's go to my lab and try it out.

Kids: Okay.

Man: Does anyone know what this device is called?

Boy1: I've seen one before, but I don't know what it's called.

Man: Well it's called a Newton's cradle. If you wanted to find out how it worked, what would you do?

Boy1: I guess I'd play around with it.

Girl1: If we are following the scientific method, then the first thing we would do is to define the problem.

Boy2: And of course we would have to observe it.

Man: You're observing it already by playing with it. What do you think we can say is the problem?

Boy1: Well, I notice that when I pull this ball back and then release it, another ball pops out. Does that happen every time?

Girl1: And what about two balls?

Man: That's the problem. And a problem has to be stated in the form of a question. So our problem is... What happens to the balls on the other side when I pull back a certain number of balls?

Boy1: Isn't the next part of the scientific method research?

Man: That's correct.

Girl1: Oh I like this kind of research. Let's see what happens when I pull back two balls.

Man: Wait a minute. Don't forget, we have to control the variables. All of the variables must be the same except for one. So pull back your two balls the same distance that Jacob pulled back his one.

Girl1: That's right. I forgot about those variables.

Boy2: Wait. What happens if I do three balls?

Boy1: Are we ready for our hypothesis yet?

Girl1: I have a hypothesis. When you let go of two balls, two balls come out. When you let go of three balls, three balls come out.

Man: That's right. Remember, the hypothesis has to be written so it can be tested. For example, the same number of balls I pull back will come out on the other side.

Boy1: Okay. Are we ready to experiment yet? That's my favorite part.

Girl1: Okay. Let's test the hypothesis. Let's see what happens if I pull back four balls then four balls should come out on the other side.

Girl1: Wow. Our hypothesis was correct.

Man: Congratulations. But remember, if the data does not support the hypothesis, you have to try it again.

Boy1: But how we observe for our problem with the barking dogs?

Girl1: We can't stay up all night waiting for the dogs to start barking.

Boy1: Well, we could.

Boy2: Not me. Remember that I have that big test next week.

Girl1: I think we need to go back to the tree house to talk about this problem and then we need to decide what we want to research. Thanks for all your help Doctor D.

Kids: See ya Doctor D.

Man: Bye bye guys.


RELATED LINKS
- Biology4Kids: Scientific Method
- Biology4Kids: Logic
- Biology4Kids: History of Logic
- Biology4Kids: Careers in Biology


 
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