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Science is all around us, and experiments have enabled us to further enhance our knowledge about the universe. Hands-on activities and experiments can make students understand science concepts better by experiencing them first hand.
See the fact file below for more information on the science experiments or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Science Experiments worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EXPERIMENTS AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
- Experiments are procedures done to debunk, validate, support, or answer a hypothesis. A hypothesis can be a proposition or a set thereof, or a definition that explains a phenomenon.
- Experiments are a crucial part of the scientific method and are considered to be its foundation. The purpose and scale of experiments vary from one another, but they rely on procedures that are repeatable and replicable, and all experiments logically analyze results.
- The scientific method is an empirical way of answering questions and learning and expanding your knowledge about the universe. It has significantly helped in the development of science since the 17th century.
- The six basic steps of the scientific method are to:
- Make observations and ask questions.
- Do background research. Today, researching can be done easily and quickly online, but be sure to write and cite your sources in your references.
- Make a hypothesis/ses. It is usually written as a cause and effect statement. A hypothesis is either rejected or accepted at the end of an experiment.
- Experiment. There are numerous types and examples of tests you can replicate to obtain data, but you can also design your own. Write down your observations and record data so you can back up your conclusion.
- Data Analysis. Data is often presented as a table or graph. It is essential to include all data, even the ones that go against your hypothesis. Once all data are gathered, perform a mathematical (statistical) analysis to support or dispute your hypothesis.
- Conclude. You either accept or reject your hypothesis based on the data gathered. A hypothesis doesn’t become correct when it is accepted, and vice versa. An experiment has no right or wrong outcome and repeating it may result in a different outcome.
VARIABLES IN AN EXPERIMENT
- Any factor or aspect that can be changed, controlled, and measured in an experiment is a variable.
- The independent variable is the factor that is changed and purposely controlled. There can be many independent variables, but only one variable is changed at a time, so measurements and interpreting data are much more manageable. For example, we use one size of kettle to boil different amounts of water and measure the time each kettle takes to boil the water. The amount of water is the independent variable.
- A dependent variable is the factor that is observed and measured. The changes in the dependent variable is a direct effect of the changes made on the independent variable. In the above example, the dependent variable would be the time it took to boil the water in each pot.
- Constant variables or controlled variables don’t change or remain constant throughout the experiment, no matter what changes are made to the independent variable. Regardless of the amount of water, the boiling temperature of water remains at 100°C.
- Extraneous variables are variables that may affect the outcome of an experiment but are not taken into consideration during observation and measurement. These variables may produce error into the scientific results, but they ideally won’t have an impact on the final conclusion.
TYPES OF EXPERIMENTS
- Natural experiments involve forming a hypothesis and then observing a system and gathering data. Also referred to as quasi-experiment, they do not have controlled variables.
- Controlled experiments are performed by comparing a control group with an experimental group. These groups, ideally, should be the same except for an independent variable.
- These experiments are usually done in the laboratory but can also be performed outside of a laboratory setting.
- Field experiments may either be a controlled experiment or a natural experiment. Rather than laboratory conditions, field experiments are conducted in real-world settings.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF FAMOUS PEOPLE
- Ibn al-Haytham, an Arab mathematician, conducted one of the first method-based approach experiments. In his “Book of Optics” (1021), he used observations, experiments, and logical arguments to support that vision is possible because objects emit rays of light. He proved other theories about vision are wrong by using similar arguments.
- Francis Bacon was an English scientist and philosopher who supported experimental science during the 17th century. He desired a process that relied on repeated observations and was able to establish the scientific method as it is today.
- Because of the scientific method, important discoveries and advances were made in the centuries that followed.
- Galileo Galilei conducted experiments and measured time accurately, which led him to conclusions about the speed of a falling body.
- Antoine Lavoisier carried out an experiment to describe combustion and biochemistry, which were new areas in the scientific field during his time. He was also able to formulate the Conservation of Mass theory by using data gathered through experiments.
- Louis Pasteur utilized the scientific method to develop the germ theory of disease and prove that the prevailing theory of spontaneous generation was wrong. He also introduced a technique that prevents the contamination of bacteria in treated milk and wine – pasteurization.
- In the early 20th century, contributions from statisticians have significantly progressed the design and analysis of experiments.
IMPORTANCE OF EXPERIMENTS
- In the physical sciences and engineering, experiments test hypotheses and theories about particular conditions that affect physical processes.
- Experiments in medical and social sciences are seldom conducted. Whenever used, randomly selected experimental units are assigned to a controlled condition or treatment that yields one or more results to be assessed.
- Experiments done for any branch of science differ from each other, but they are all geared to increasing our knowledge and understanding about a specific topic.
- Advanced experiments make use of elaborate apparatus observed by several scientists hoping to discover new information about a particular topic.
- But experiments can also be personal and informal comparisons, such as testing a set of shampoos to find your favorite smell.
- Laboratory experiments also help students develop their scientific thinking. Experiments encourage the students to ask questions, investigate and collect data to answer their questions.
- Many of the medicines available today are produced after many years of research and experiments. Vaccines, discovered through experiments, have saved lives and prevented many people from getting ill.
- Experiments have also enabled us to understand the behavior, functions, and structure of all living and nonliving things in and outside the Earth.
Science Experiments Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Science Experiments across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Science Experiments worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the experiments that have enabled us to further enhance our knowledge about the universe. Hands-on activities and experiments can make students understand science concepts better by experiencing them first hand.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Complete Steps
- The Experimenters
- What Instruments?
- Using the Instruments
- Which Experiment?
- Knowing Terms
- Experiment’s Statistics
- Variants of Experiments
- Nobel Champions
- Scientist in Me
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Link will appear as Science Experiments Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 17, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.