Many of the different things people do to learn about something may be called experiments. An experiment is a procedure used to make a discovery, test something, or demonstrate a fact. Experiments are often used by scientists to learn new things.
An example of making a discovery occurred when explorers long ago traveled across the ocean to America, they were making a discovery. They did not know what they would find in the New World. Scientists discover new medicines to treat diseases. Discovering things is experimenting.
To test something a cook might test recipes by adding different amounts of ingredients. The cook is experimenting. A scientist may help a car company build safer cars when testing the strength of seatbelts. Testing things is called experimenting.
Finally, everyone knows if you drop something it will fall to the ground or floor. This is called gravity. Scientists may drop different things to demonstrate gravity, proving that the fact is true. Demonstrating a scientific fact is experimenting.
Experiments are used by many kinds of scientists. In class, students might do experiments too. Often, they are done in science class, but in art class, they might mix different colors of paint to create a new color. It is experimenting when the colors are mixed, and a person learns something new about colors.
The steps of doing science experiments are part of the scientific method, which are the rules for doing experiments. Step one involves a problem, such as what is being investigated or what problem needs to be solved? Step two includes a statement called a hypothesis, which is a statement of explanation that can be tested with an experiment. An example of a hypothesis might be: Students believe Brand A paper towels are better than Brand B paper towels because the price is higher. The hypothesis can then be tested.
The next step would be to design the experiment to test the hypothesis, and then conduct and control the experiment. The experiment may begin, but control variables are those things that can be changed during the experiment, such as using different paper towels in the previous example. As the experiment is conducted, it is important to make observations.
Observing and recording means to write down the procedure of the experiment, the amounts of substances, sizes of things, and other information other scientists would need to know if they want to repeat the experiment.
Finally, once the experiment has been conducted and completed, it is important to analyze the results. Analyze the recorded and observed information, reflect and think about the completed experiment. Once the results are analyzed, all scientists draw a conclusion. What is learned by the results of the experiment? This can also include a discussion with other scientists as well.
Often, it may be necessary to repeat the experiment. If the first or original experiment was done correctly, the results should be the same. All experiments will follow the basic scientific method steps. The only changes will include the type of experiment conducted, the supplies used, or how often the experiment may be repeated. Every experiment will include variables, the things that can be changed or controlled during an experiment.
The best experiments will often lead to more questions about the things you will want to learn, more experiments, and usually more research. Real scientists follow these steps for their experiments, and when they conduct one experiment, it may lead to several other experiments with small changes.
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