Lesson 1, Topic 4
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# Scientific Methods

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Scientific methods are steps taken by scientists when trying to solve scientific problems.

It is a rational and logical variety of steps and procedures, taken by a scientist, in order to come to a conclusion about various happenings and situations, with valid proof or evidence to back up their claim.

The scientific methods consist of:

1. Observation.
2. Defining the problem (Identification of Problems)
3. Gathering and classifying data.
4. Forming a hypothesis.
5. Recording/Interpretation.
6. Drawing a conclusion.
7. Theory and Law.

1. Observation: In the course of an experiment, scientists look at things carefully and closely, so that they can understand their similarities and differences, using their senses, that is, sense of sound, smell, touch, sight, and taste, so as to figure out what is happening in the experiment. Scientists typically use tools in their observation. For example, a microscope helps to view objects too small to be seen with the unaided human eye, while a telescope view objects too far away to be seen by the unaided eye.

2. Defining the Problem: Science begins with the identification of a problem. Here, questions are asked in this regard in order to understand the problem. It is a major step in the process of solving the problem. Any observed problem is carefully defined by a statement.

3. Gathering and Classifying Data: Here, facts are gathered in relation to the problem and are gotten from a series of more observations, and reading books, articles, reports, and journals relating to the problem. The information gotten is then grouped according to certain specific properties.

4. Forming a Hypothesis: A hypothesis is a scientific and educated guess which entails the provision of a possible answer to the problem. A hypothesis is formed from the data gathered and classified. A hypothesis is a tentative explanation for a phenomenon, used as a basis for further investigation.

5. Experiment: Experiment is the act of putting something to test. Scientists carry out scientific tests called experiments, to find out which of the guesses are true or false. Proving that a hypothesis is true or false involves collecting evidence or proof, which is done through experimentation.

6. Recording: Scientists write down all that they observed during the experiment for further reference and study (i.e. for future references)

7. Drawing conclusion: This is the final decision about the solution to the problem a scientist started with. In this stage, scientists make deductions and confirm whether the hypothesis is true or false. When a hypothesis has been tested and found to be repeatedly true, it becomes a “Theory”. If the hypothesis is found to be false, they are discharged and subjected to further test. A theory becomes a “Law” when it has been extensively tested and still found to be true. Furthermore, the conclusion is the statement that tells us whether the hypothesis is correct or wrong, and it is drawn based on the interpreted result of the experiment. The results of the experiment are strong pieces of evidence, that strengthen the hypothesis, or are used to modify the hypothesis.

8. Interpretation: Scientists use Mathematics, to analyze the result of the experiment, recorded for interpretation. The interpreted results justify the correctness of the hypothesis. The aspects of Mathematics used include statistics, which is the analysis of numerical data, and probability which calculates the likelihood that any particular event will occur.

9. Theory and Law: A theory is a scientific fact. When a hypothesis has been tested and found to be repeatedly true, it becomes a “Theory”. Law is a scientific truth, deduced from a variety of experiments and other pieces of evidence. A theory becomes a law when it has been extensively tested and still found to be true.

### Skills Beginners Should Develop in Reading Science:

The beginners should develop the following skills.

1. Creativity.
2. Personal interest.
3. Team spirit.
4. Domestic skill.
5. Medical soundness.
6. Logic and manual dexterity.
7. Cognitive ability.
8. Attention to details of figures.
9. Tact and patience.
10. Computer literacy.

Theory Evaluation Questions.

1. Define science.

2. List the three (3) main branches of science.

3. Enumerate five (5) reasons for studying science.

5. Mention 5 (five) career opportunities in science. error: