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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Doing What Scientists Do
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Doing What Scientists Do

Using the Scientific Method

Choose a topic:

Think image of man lounging in chairof a question that you want to answer. Scientists call this question the problem.

Research the topic:

Go to the library image of a stack of books, get books image of girl carrying books, use the computerimage of a computer, talk to familyimage of dad, mom , and child and friends, interview professionals Image of two men, and write to companies image of person at desk to gather information about your topic. Keep notes concerning this information to use later in a research


Form a hypothesis:

Write what you think will happenimage of person with a big pencil in your experiment. Base your hypothesis on what you learned from your research.

Design an experiment:

Find an experiment that will help you find an answer to your problem. Better yet, make up your own!

animated cartoon image of a woman scientist carrying flask with chemical

List your procedures:

Write out the steps of your experiment. Include a list of the materials that you use.

Make observations:

Use your five senses and measuring devices (ruler, scale, measuring cup, etc.) to describe what happens during your experiment.

Show your observations by making graphsImage of man climbing a bar graph, tables, drawing pictures, taking photographs image of camera, and/or writing them out in sentences.

Drawing conclusions:

animated cartoon image of boy studying at a school deskWrite what you have learned about your problem as it relates to your hypothesis from your research notes and experiment observations.

image of a litte cartoon houseiamge of a childimage of a magnifying glassimage of a molecule

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Last Modified: 12/29/2016
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