Notes from Janice’s Desk
Scientists make observations, identify problems, ask questions, guess at the answer (hypothesis), experiment to test their guess, collect and analyze data, and then make a conclusion stating where the result supported their hypothesis or not. These are the steps for a process called the scientific method.
Do scientists always follow the previously listed steps in the order given? No.
Do scientists always use every one of the steps? No.
Scientists do not always follow the steps in order and they don’t always use each step. Instead, they use the steps needed for the particular problem they are solving. You will find the scientific method discussed many times on this website, but you will also find that I don’t point out each of the steps with every investigation.
Young learners are very observant, and thus ask many questions–Why is the sky blue? Why do birds fly and I don’t? If I had feathers could I fly? Why do fish live in water? If I had scales could I live in water? Are there really …….etc…… The questions are endless and all so very important.
My goal for this website is not to just answer questions, but to provide information that will encourage further investigations. For example, my answer to the question, “Why is the sky blue?” might be, “I wonder…is the sky always blue?” This leads us to talking about the different colors in the sky at dawn (when the Sun is rising) or at sunset (when the Sun is setting). So when is the sky blue? When the Sun is above the horizon. So the Sun’s position has something to do with the sky’s color. Is there anything else involved? For a fun investigation, see SKY COLOR.