Scientific Method Graphic Organizer

One ancient evening, lost in the mists of time, someone looked into the sky and wondered for the first time: What are those lights? Where did plants and animals come from? How did I come 1) TO be? Since then, humans 2) HAVE tried to answer those 3) QUESTIONS. At first, the answers 4) OUR ancestors came up with 5) INVOLVED / USED tales of magic 6) OR / AND legends. Then, slowly, humans 7) BEGAN / STARTED to explore the natural 8) WORLD using a scientific approach.

9) SCIENCE has several features that 10) MAKE it different from other 11) HUMAN endeavors. First, science deals 12) ONLY with the natural world. 13) SECOND , scientists collect and organize 14) INFORMATION / DATA in a careful, orderly 15) WAY , looking for patterns and 16) CONNECTIONS / RELATIONSHIPS between events. Third, scientists 17) PROPOSE / MAKE explanations that can be 18) TESTED by examining evidence. In 19) OTHER words, science is an 20) ORGANIZED way of using evidence 21) TO learn about the natural 22) WORLD . The word science also 23) REFERS to the body of 24) KNOWLEDGE / INFORMATION that scientists have built 25) UP after years of using 26) THIS process.

Science starts with observation. 27) OBSERVATION / IT / THIS involves using one or 28) MORE of the senses--sight, 29) HEARING , touch, smell, and sometimes 30) TASTE --to gather information. The 31) INFORMATION gathered from observations is 32) CALLED / KNOWN AS evidence, or data.

Suppose a group of 33) PEOPLE / HUMANS became ill with an unknown 34) KIND of infectious disease after 35) ATTENDING / BEING AT / GOING TO a large public event. Health 36) PROFESSIONALS / DOCTORS / SCIENTISTS would want to know 37) HOW the people contracted the 38) DISEASE / ILLNESS / GERMS . They might form several 39) HYPOTHESES. A hypothesis is a 40) POSSIBLE / TRIAL explanation for a set 41) OF observations or an answer 42) TO a scientific question. In 43) SCIENCE, a hypothesis is useful 44) ONLY if it can be tested.

In science, testing a 45) HYPOTHESIS often innvolves designing an 46) EXPERIMENT . The factors in an 47) EXPERIMENT that can change are 48) CALLED variables. Examples of variables include equipment used, type of material, amount of material, temperature, light, and time. Scientist usually keep written 49) RECORDS of their observations, or data. In the past, data were usually recorded by hand, often in notebooks or personal journals. Today, researchers may record their work on computers.

Scientists use the data from an experiment to evaluate the hypothesis and draw a 50) CONCLUSION . That is, they use the evidence to determine whether the hypothesis was supported or refuted.