Scientific Method II


·         First, you must print this "worksheet page".

·         All answer must be handwritten in the spaces provided.

·         The headings in blue correspond to the links on the Scientific Method II Tutorial.

·         You must read Scientific Method II Tutorial  while you read the worksheet page.



  1. The scientific method is a process used to help us understand the ___________ world. In this exercise you will apply the scientific method to __________________ and real life situations.


  1. What does hypothetical mean? _______________________________________


  1. Steps of the Scientific Method


Write down the 4 steps in this “version” of the scientific method with a brief description of each.

4.      Car


What are the two observations why David’s car wont start?


  1. What are the two hypothesis offered for why David’s car wont start?



  1. David pours 2 gallons of gas in his car. It still will not start. What do you conclude about the gas hypothesis? __________________________________________________________



  1. What does David do about the battery? _______________________________


  1. What do you conclude about the battery hypothesis? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Disease Detective


  1. What were the Clampets doing ______________________________________


  1. A few weeks later several of the Clampets became ____________. Use the scientific method to determine what is making the Clampets sick.


  1. What was the first hypothesis?



  1. How would we know if it were correct? _________________________________  


  1. What did the stool samples of the Clampets indicate? ___________________________________________________________


  1. What do we conclude about hypothesis #1? ___________________________________________________________



  1. What was the second hypothesis?



  1. How would we know if it were correct? __________________________________________________________


  1. What did the biopsy samples of the Clampets indicate? __________________________________________________________


  1. What do we conclude about hypothesis #1? ___________________________________________________________


  1. Do we know for sure the bears were the cause?  Explain. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


  1. What do you think of Whitecloud’s explanation? ___________________________________________________________





  1. What happened to Sally Smith? _______________________________________


  1. What were two observation police made about the crime? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


  1. What hypothesis did the police try first? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


  1. Whom do you think was guilty when the evidence was tested? ___________________________________________________________



  1. The scientific method is often used to learn about phenomena that occurred in the past or that is not directly observable. For example, no one has ever seen an electron.  How do we know so much about electrons, electricity and computers?





  1. Yeast are single celled ______________. They reproduce by forming ____________ that eventually break off to become a new ___________


  1.  We have learned much about yeast with the _________ ___________. There are _________ of scientific papers written about the biology of yeast.


  1. What hypothesis could you generate to explain what causes the holes in the bread? Write down your hypothesis before proceeding:


Hypothesis: The yeast caused the ________in the bread. Yeast must emit a _________ that bubbles through the dough to produce the _______ in the bread.


Prediction of Hypothesis: If yeast is added to other _________________ similar to ________ ___________, it will produce ___________ also.


  1. How did they test their hypothesis.  (Sugar is a carbohydrate).



  1. Continue Reading the Experiment and fill out the chart below:






Yeast + Sugar







No Yeast + Sugar







Yeast + Bleach + Sugar










Review    Fill in the Blanks!


Most people feel like _______________whenever they see the phrase _________________ .  And yet, the Scientific Method  is actually just a simple way to find out stuff.  The scientific community describes this process as a series of steps so that others can analyze and repeat what we have done.  This series of steps is called the ________ ___________.

I will start with a simple example to show how the SM works.  Say you are sitting at your desk and you try to turn your desk lamp on but it does not work.  What is going on?  Here are some possible explanations for this problem:

1.  __________________________
2.  __________________________
3.  __________________________
4.  __________________________
5.  __________________________

Which one should you choose to test first?  Based on everyday experience, I bet most people in their right minds would choose either option 1 or 2.  Why?  Because they ______________________________________ about desk lamps from _____________________________.

Okay, let's choose option #1 since it is the easiest:  oops!  Since the lamp is ______________________ in we can forget about #1 and got to the next easiest option, #2, as our explanation for why the lamp does not work.  As we go down the list, most people will naturally always pick the options that are the ______________________ to test!  That is just _____________ ___________. 

Notice that this is a process of ____________________: if a possible explanation ______________ the test we simply throw it away and move on to the ____________________.   

Okay the trick now is to show how what we just did can be described as a method (the SM)!  Here we go:

1.  Identify a problem (for example, __________________)

2.  List possible explanations : Come up with more than 1 hypothesis based on your previous experience (what you already know).  However, all of these hypotheses must be  ______________________.  

3.  Pick the most likely hypothesis (or the easiest one to test);  this is called the "rule of maximum ______________" (for example, the bulb is burned out)

4.  Make predictions based on the hypothesis:  "if this hypothesis is true, then the lamp should work when I replace the bulb"

5.  Test the hypothesis by determining if __________________ is true.  You determine the validity by making more __________________ or by doing an _________________________ .

6.  Move on to test alternative hypotheses if your first one fails the test repeat
 until you are convinced that you have identified the most likely hypothesis.

I mentioned earlier that you can make mistakes.  This is because the SM, like anything else in life, _________________.  All kinds of errors can be made along the way.   For example you may pick the "wrong" hypothesis which could mean that you will waste a lot of time and/or money. 

Another common problem is that one may go chasing merrily down a particular path   and actually end up missing what is __________ going on.  For example, a long time ago most scientists hypothesized that the sun revolves around the earth because most initial observations would supported this hypothesis. , It is only because scientists kept examining this problem from different ________________, and using _________________ to make _____________ and then testing the _______________, that our understanding of how the solar system works gradually emerged.

This sort of thing really does happen all of the time, and it is the reason scientific work is called _________________ rather than just "___________":  we keep looking and looking and re-examining what has already been examined, trying to leave no stone unturned.  However, we do have to decide to start somewhere, and that is where maximum _______________ comes in.  But no experienced scientist would stop there.

Scientists are never satisfied!




Pseudoscience is ___________ science. It uses _____________ of the steps of the scientific method. It is frequently used to persuade someone to buy a _______________ product.



Electric Belt


  1. Why would you consider this pseudoscience?




  1. How could you test their claim to see if it is true?






What is the claim about the use of magnets?



  1. Would you consider this pseudoscience?




  1. How could you test (or verify) their claim to see if it is true?