Here is the SCIENTIFIC METHOD broken down into 5 easy steps. Make sure these steps are highlighted on your final display so that your teachers and judges know that you used the scientific method to answer your question.
• STEP 1. Do some RESEARCH on a topic of interest, make an OBSERVATION about a variable from that subject, and then ask a QUESTION based on the observation made.
Note: Where and Why questions are difficult to answer with a science fair project, so guide your student toward How questions, for example: How does this variable affect that variable? And What questions such as: What is the impact of this variable on that variable?
• STEP 2. State a HYPOTHESIS (a prediction) that answers the question asked
• STEP 3. Design an EXPERIMENT to test the hypothesis stated
Identify the independent, dependent, and constant/controlled variables
Ensure the dependent variable is quantitative (measurable)
Include the appropriate control (it must “control” for the independent variable)
Replicate experiment at least 3 times (collect data)
• STEP 4. Analyze the RESULTS (data) to determine if the hypothesis should be accepted or rejected
• STEP 5. Make a CONCLUSION (accept or reject the hypothesis); The conclusion is often the next observation so finish the project by suggesting the next experiment that could be done.