The Scientific MethodMark A. GarciaSCI/230November 13, 2011The Scientific Method The scientific method, a process that uses deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning.
Each step of the scientific method involves using thoughts that are planned and wise inferences that are conducted in logical steps. It is possible to use the scientific method in several different areas of study. In this case, the scientific method will be used to conduct a plant experiment. It can also be used in examples from real life that can stray away from biology and are geared toward daily usage (Science Buddies, 2009). The following information and steps were gathered from the scientific method Web site for this class.
Stein (1997) stated, ???Observation, Have you ever noticed if you place a plant near a window, that after a while, the plant grows or leans toward the window??? Stein (1997) stated, ???Question, Have you ever wondered why the plant grows towards the window??? Stein (1997) stated, ???Hypothesis, What reasons or factors can you list that might cause a plant to lean or grow toward a window For example, I think plants respond to the glass from which they absorb some needed nutrient.??? Stein (1997) stated, ???Prediction, If it is true that plants respond to the glass from which they absorb some needed nutrient then grow three plants in glass cubes in the light and three plants in glass cubes in the dark then I should see a difference or change in the direction the plant is growing or leaning.??? Stein (1997) stated, ???Results, The plants in the light grew straight up until they reached the tops of the glass cubes, and then grew in circles along the top of the cubes. The plants grown in the dark trailed over the sides of their pots, one to the right and two to the left.??? In performing this experiment, during the first step, one would be trying to determine why plants would grow toward a window instead of growing away from it. The next step of the experiment would be to verbalize and make a record of the possible hypothesis of the experiment. The hypothesis for this experiment was, Stein (1997) stated, ???I think plants respond to the glass from which they absorb some needed nutrient.??? The prediction for this experiment was that if some plants were grown in the light and some plants grown in the dark there would be a noticed difference in the way the plants grew.
It has been learned in the science class, plants will use light to be able to produce chlorophyll. For the scientific method experiment, there were three plants that were placed in glass cubes and grown in the light. Then there were three plants that were placed in glass cubes and grown in the dark. To ensure that light absorption is the only variable in this experiment, it will be necessary to ensure that all six cubes are identical in size. An important step is to ensure that the plants receive the same amount of water at the same time each day of the experiment. Another important step would also be necessary to ensure the conditions of the climate remained constant in each cube for the duration of the experiment. For the experiment, it will be necessary to document the growth of the plants every two days, and to make sure that significant growth changes are documented. After documenting the results for a few weeks, it will be necessary to use the information gathered in growth changes to determine the results of the experiment.
The information that has been gathered from the experiment should be transferred to spreadsheets, which are organized. The results would be, Stein (1997) stated, ???The plants in the light grew straight up until they reached the tops of the glass cubes, and then grew in circles along the top of the cubes. The plants grown in the dark trailed over the sides of their pots, one to the right and two to the left.
??? Through reviewing the results of the experiment, one would then develop conclusions towards the final observations. An inference about the plants that were grown in the dark would be that the plants were trying to grow toward a source of light. The plants that grew to the left were receiving a higher concentration of light, and the one plant that grew to the right might have grown to the right due to the competition of the plants trying to grow towards the light. To test these inferences, it would e necessary to do the experiment again, only altered this time. One of the dark cubes would have a light placed on it.
The plants would be watched to see if the plants in the dark cubes grew towards the cube that had the light placed on it. If this test proved true, then a conclusion would be that they plants use the light to for chlorophyll production. An example of the scientific method in a real-life situation is figuring out why the fish in an aquarium were not as active in the winter as in the summer. An observation was made that during the colder months the fish in the aquarium were not as active as they were during the warmer months. The fish in the aquarium were fed on a regular basis, the water was changed at the same intervals, and there was sufficient lighting in the aquarium. The aquarium was located in front of a window. A hypothesis was made that by being in front of the window, the water temperature was to cool for the fish in the aquarium. Over a period of a week, the aquarium was moved further daily to a location that was not near the window.
The activity of the fish increased as the distance of the aquarium from the window increased. The conclusion was that the temperature of the water was cooler near the window, causing the fish not to be as active as they were when the aquarium was moved further away from the window and the temperature of the water increased. The scientific method, regardless of application is done in a manner that is cohesive and coherent. Hypothesis and predictions are formed; they are then proved or disproved by the use of observations and results. To use the scientific method successfully, it is necessary to have a hypothesis that is sound, and to do the experiments in an environment that can be controlled. A plan that is laid out carefully will produce results that are valid (Science Buddies, 2009).ReferencesScience Buddies.
(2009). Steps of the scientific method. Retrieved November 12, 2011, from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/mentoring/project_scientific_method.
shtmlStein, C. (1997). The scientific method. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio104/sci_meth.htm