Scientific Method

by Jason Amores Sumpter
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in this video, we're going to introduce the scientific method. And so here's a question that maybe some of you guys have never thought of before. And it's asking How can you possibly trust the information that you learn from your science textbook? Well, the answer to that question is, you can trust the information in your science textbook because the information in your textbook has been subjected to the scientific method. So then the question becomes, well, what in the world is this scientific method? Well, the scientific method is defined as a procedure that is used by scientist to answer questions, test ideas and gain scientific knowledge. And so this scientific knowledge that has been subjected to the scientific method is going to make its way into your textbooks so that you can learn from it and you can trust it. And so the scientific method is a Siris of steps that will talk about down below in our image. But the scientific method always starts with an observation and a question. And so if we take a look at our image down below once again, what we have are the seven steps here to the scientific method And so again, the scientific method always starts with an observation and a question. And so the very first step is going to make is going to be to make an observation, and the second step will be to ask a question. Now we're going to apply the scientific method to an example that might be a little bit more relatable for you all. And so let's imagine that one night some evening you're studying for your biology test, but then you realize that the desk lamp does not work. And so here notice that we have your desk and we've got the lamp here on your desk and you're observing that the desk lamp does not work, so that would be your observation. After you've made your observation, you would move onto the second step of the scientific method, which would be toe ask a question. And so, for example, your question might be why doesn't the lamp work? After the second step, you would move on to the third step of the scientific method, which would be to formulate a hypothesis and to make a prediction as Thio, why your lamp might not be working and in our next lesson. Video. We're going to distinguish between hypothesis and prediction, but for now, for simplicity sake, let's just say that the hypothesis is an explanation for your question. And so why doesn't the lamp work? You might think that it's not working because the bulb in the lamp is just simply loose. And really, all you need to do is just screw in that light bulb just a little bit tighter, and maybe it will start working. So after you formulated your hypothesis and made your prediction, you would move on to the fourth step of the scientific method, which is to design and conduct an experiment. And the experiment in your example here might be to just screw in the light bulb a little bit tighter. You just go in and you screw that light bulb tighter. After the fourth step, you would move on to the fifth step of the scientific method, which is to collect and interpret the data from your experiment. And so this would be like checking to see if your lamp actually works after you've screwed in the light bulb a little bit tighter. After the fifth step, you would move on to the sixth step of the scientific method, which is to draw conclusions. And when you're drawing conclusions, you're basically asking, Should we accept or reject the original hypothesis that you made over here? So let's say that you screwed in your light bulb a little bit tighter. You check to see if it worked, and then all of a sudden it did work. At that point, you would accept your hypothesis and move on to the last step here of the scientific method, which is Step number seven, which is peer review and publish by peer Review. What this means is that you would get one of your peers, maybe your parents or one of your classmates to check your entire scientific method process, and they would check it for errors and mistakes and things like that. Now, if your peers review your process and they approve of it, then you can go on to publishing your data, your results and your conclusions, and you could go ahead and publish primary literature. And really, all of the information in your textbook comes directly from published primary literature that has undergone this scientific method multiple times. Now, let's say, for example, that you went through this process here, you screwed in your light bulb a little bit tighter. You check to see if your lamp work, but then you realize that it did not actually worked. In that case, you would need to reject your original hypothesis. And if you reject the original hypothesis, you would not go to Step seven. Instead, you would go on to repeat the entire process so it would be a cycled. So then you would have to make an observation. Maybe it's the same observation you would ask a question. Maybe it's the same question, but then you would need to formulate a new hypothesis and make a new prediction, and that would require the design and conduction of a new experiment. And of course, you would repeat this entire process over and over and over until you're capable of accepting your original hypothesis and publishing your information. And so this here is really the scientific method here, and that concludes our introduction to the scientific method. So in our next video, we're going to distinguish between predictions, hypotheses and theories. So I'll see you guys in that video