Simple Experiments
Dec 12, 2006
2:00/1:00 MT/PT
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Flask  SIMPLE EXPERIMENTS FACTS Experimenting with air and water
What is Science?
The Scientific Method
Can you be a Scientist?
Simple Experiments to try

What is ScienceQuestion Marks          Science has four important characteristics.
FlaskThe word "science" comes from the Latin word for "knowing." There are some characteristics of science that make it unique. For one thing, scientists are trying to gain knowledge of the physical world. Scientists study only the physical world, because they can learn about it using their five Looking through a telescopesenses. They often use scientific instruments, like a telescope and binoculars, that can make their senses more powerful. (A telescope lets astronomers see farther just as binoculars let biologists see farther).

FlaskAnother characteristic of science is that it tries to ask questions that can be tested. A scientist could ask the the question "How deep is the ocean?" because she would be able to perform an experiment to test the answer.

FlaskScience involves doing an experiment that can be repeated so scientists must share their results. Their work isn't considered knowledge if only one scientist can produce the result. Good science can only happen when an answer to a question is backed up by the data from many scientists.

Science follows the Scientific Method. Science needs both ideas and facts to move forward.

Scientific Method

    Doing an experiment Scientists answer questions about their physical world by formulating hypotheses and designing experiments to test them. Sometimes the experiments are complicated and sometimes the experiments are simple, but the data collected all help to find out a fact or facts that help us understand our world.

     If you can ask a question, measure, hear, feel, hear, see, smell or taste you can be a scientist. Asking questions is first part of finding knowledge. Then dig in to to find the answer.

     The scientific method is an organized way of solving a problem, investigating an observation and testing hypotheses. Benjamin Franklin used this when he experimented with electricity. It is a 5 step process.

Experimenting with Lightning1. Purpose- State the problem. Ask your question. What do you want to learn? Just about everything starts with a question, usually made by looking at the world around you.

2. Observations and Research - Find out as much as you can.

3. Hypothesis- Try to predict the answer to the problem. A hypothesis is a guess based on a few observations.

4. Experiment- Design a test or procedure to prove or disprove your hypothesis. Scientists run experiments more than once to verify that results are consistent. Each time that you perform your experiment is called a run or a trial. Go behind the scenes with experimental variables.

5. Analysis/Conclusion- Record what happened during the experiment. This is called collecting your data. Conclusion- Review the data and explain the meaning of your results. Did your experiment support your hypothesis? You have to be able to prove every answer you give.

Lab NotebookDetails about the Scientific Method from Kids!

Don't forget to write everything down in your laboratory notebook. You must keep a record of everything you did.

wowScience builds builds on what has been learned before. This process allows the world to advance. Because Benjamin Franklin investigated lightning and electricity, we use that information for more advanced experiments.


     Scientists design an experiment so that changes to one item cause something else to vary in a predictable way. These changing quantities are called variables and an experiment usually has three kinds: independent, dependent, and controlled. Definitions and examples of the different variables . Analyze controls and variables with Sponge Bob.

Here's an example of the Scientific Method in action

You are now ready to move on to SIMPLE EXPERIMENTS
From Other Sources: From Zoom Science:* From dragonfly TV:*
Mad Scientist Experiments Friction Potato Maze Body and Brain
Oil and Water Boat Float (ages 3-6) Plant a Sock Living Things
Moving Water Minute Experiments Solar Cooker Earth and Space
Solar Energy   Floating Paper Clip Matter and Motion
Vinegar and Baking soda   Gum Drop Dome Technology & Invention
      * from PBS
Also from PBS's dragonfly TV: Meet real scientists, Solve a Science Mystery or a riddle,

Young or Old...Optical IllusionExperiments with Optical Illusions

Do you see an old woman or a young woman in the picture on the left?

Check this site out...wherre there are 70 optial illusions!

Now make your own illusion.

Wright Brothers Plane Inventions This site is about great inventions that changed everyday life. They all started when someone asked a question. Perhaps you will one day be a great scientist or inventor! Whatever you you, don't stop asking questions and finding answers...the scientific way!

There's more to do at Simple Experiment:      Links      Glossary      Resources
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