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Scientific Method Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

What is science? You might think of experiments and mixing chemicals. Science is way more than that, though. In this lesson, we will talk about the scientific method. Then, we will look at a few examples of it in action.

What is the Scientific Method?

Think about a scientist. What do you picture? Probably an adult in a long white coat mixing chemicals or something, right? There are scientists who do this every day, but many scientists look very different. That's because science is being done all around us! Science is happening in our homes, outside, and just about anywhere else you can think of. Anybody who uses the scientific method to do his or her work is a scientist.

Science is not just mixing chemicals
Chemicals

The scientific method is a way of solving problems that uses a set of steps to make sure your answer is accurate and based on evidence. Evidence is anything that you can measure that helps prove that you are right. When people use the scientific method, they collect evidence and think about it to try to figure out what is really going on.

What Can the Scientific Method be Used For?

The scientific method can be used to solve just about any problem you can think of. The steps in the method make sure you prove your answer in the best way. If a scientist does not follow the steps in the scientific method, her answer might be wrong. She doesn't have to follow them in any order, though. You can think of the scientific method as a kind of checklist that helps a scientist do her job. And different problems have different sets of steps to them.

Using the Scientific Method on Your Own

Let's look at an example of a problem you can solve at home using the scientific method: seeing what places in your house are best for growing plants. This is very easy to do. All you have to do is gather a bunch of cups and fill them with dirt - use as many as you want to. Then plant the same type of seed in each one of them. After this, place those cups all over your house. Put some near windows. Put one in a closet. Put one in the bathroom. Try to pick spots that are very different from each other. Then measure the height of the plants over time and write them down. You will have evidence to show which spots are best for plants to grow. This is a perfect example of the scientific method.

You can use the scientific method at home by growing plants and measuring the growth!
House plant

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