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What are the steps in the scientific method?

The is a method for conducting an objective investigation.

The usual steps are:

STEP 1: Make Observations

You may think the hypothesis is the start of the scientific method, but you will have made some observations first, even if they were informal.

STEP 2: Propose a Hypothesis

Make an “educated guess” about the phenomena you have observed. This is often stated like, "If I… (do this), then… (that will happen)".

STEP 3: Design an Experiment to Test the Hypothesis

Design a test or procedure to find out if your hypothesis is correct.

STEP 4: Carry out the Experiment

This is the fun part! Carry out the experiment and collect your data.

STEP 5: Test the Hypothesis

This is where you analyze your results in order to decide whether or not what you expected to happen really did happen.

STEP 6: Accept or Reject the Hypothesis

It's practically impossible to prove a hypothesis is correct, because there may be other causes for the phenomenon you have observed.

It's easier to test that there is no relationship between the phenomena, because you can prove it to be wrong.

STEP 7: Revise the Hypothesis or Draw Conclusions

If your hypothesis was incorrect, return to Step 2 and devise a new hypothesis.

If your hypothesis was not rejected, you can draw some conclusions.

STEP 8. Report your Findings

Be prepared to present and defend your conclusions. Others must be able to repeat your results.

The flow chart below summarizes the above steps.

Here's an interesting video on the scientific method.


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