scientific method as an ongoing process

A simple explanation of the steps of the scientific method

The following steps are key to the scientific method

steps of the scientific methodStep 1: Ask A Question

The scientific method begins with asking a question about something that has been observed. Good questions must be about something that can be measured.
They typically begin with how, what, when, who, which, why or where.

Step 2: Do Some Research

Does true knowledge about this problem already exist? Has this question already been asked?
Remember: A problem gets solved only once, never twice.

One needs to read about the topic from the question so that he or she will have some background knowledge of the topic.
This will keep the scientist from repeating mistakes that have been made in the past.

Step 3: Formulate a Hypothesis

A hypothesis is an educated guess about the answer to your question. The hypothesis must be measurable and answer the original question you asked.

Step 4: Test with Experimentation

The experiment tests whether the hypothesis is true or false. It is important for the test to be fair, so this means that the scientist may need to run multiple tests. He or she will be sure to only change one factor at a time in the experiment so that he or she can determine which factor is causing the difference.

Step 5: Record and Analyse Observations or Results

During the experiment, the scientist will record all his or her observations. Once the experiment is complete, he or she will collect and measure all the data to see if the hypothesis is true or false.
The scientist will often find that his or her hypothesis was false. If this is the case, he or she will formulate a new hypothesis and begin the process again until he or she is able to answer the question.

Step 6: Draw a Conclusion

Once the scientist has analysed the results, he or she can make a statement about what he or she has found. This statement communicates the results of the experiment to others.


Side by side with the decision matrix

decision matrixStep 1 – Situation analysis
Step 2 – Consider the situation and environment
Step 3 – Questionnaire
Step 4 – Add knowledge, retrieve, complete
Step 5 – Create possible solutions
Step 6 – Evaluate possible solutions
Step 7 – Choose the most suitable solution
Step 8 – Implement the chosen solution
Step 9 – Track the used solution
Step 10 – Keep the results of the used solution

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