# The 6 Steps of the Scientific Method

The scientific method is a systematic way to find answers to questions or problems. Although it sounds like it is unique to Science, in reality, it just outlines how many people solve problems in everyday life. You have a problem, you think of a solution, you see if it works, and if you didn’t find a solution you start over. The steps of the Scientific Method follow a similar path.

Steps of the Scientific Method

Step 1. Identify the problem. In other words, what would you like to know? Problems are written in the form of a question. The following are some example questions.

Can mushrooms help boost your immune system?

Step 2. Research the problem. This can take many different forms. Research can be in the form of looking on the internet, talking to other people, reading scientific books, magazines, or even watching a show.

Step 3. Form a hypothesis, which is an educated guess. The hypothesis should be based on research or life experience. Many times it is written in an “ if-then statement.”

For example, If dogs are trained properly then they can help assist elderly people.

Step 4. Experiment The experiment should be designed to test the hypothesis and during the experiment, observations are used to collect measurable data. The experiment will include three variables, the independent variable, the dependent, and the control variables.

The independent variable is the part of the experiment that you change to see how it affects the dependent variable.

* The independent variable is always graphed on the x-axis.

* The dependent variable is the part of the experiment that changes in response to the independent variable. The dependent variable is always graphed on the y-axis.

* The control variables are variables that should be held constant and are used for comparing.

In addition, a large sample size increases the accuracy of the experiment and the results.

Many times you need to repeat the experiment several times to help eliminate errors that may be introduced.

Step 5. Results This includes the data that you have gathered.  Quantitative data is data that is numbered or counted, and qualitative data includes illustrations and photographs and is data that is observed.

Step 6. Form a conclusion based on the data collected. This is a summary of the overall results. The conclusion states whether or not you accept or reject your hypothesis. In addition, you may describe any practical applications you have learned.