How Do You Explain the Scientific Method to Kids?


Quick Answer

Explain the scientific method to kids by first teaching them that its overall purpose is to study and discover things about the way the world works. Then, walk them through each of the steps of the process, asking them to suggest examples of how they might accomplish each step.

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How Do You Explain the Scientific Method to Kids?
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Full Answer

The first step of the scientific method to teach kids involves coming up with a question to investigate. For example, a scientist may seek an answer to the question, "What type of exercise raises heart rate the most after 20 minutes?" The next two steps are to do research on the topic and then come up with an educated guess, called a hypothesis, about the outcome of the scientific experiment. For instance, after reading about a few different categories of exercise, a scientist may predict that, between running, yoga and swimming, running is most likely to raise heart rate the most.

Once the scientist has a hypothesis, it is time to devise an experiment to test it out. Guide the children through the process of setting up an experiment, explaining why certain types of experiments might provide more reliable results than others. For example, when studying the effect of different types of exercise on heart rate, it is best to run all parts of the experiment in the same weather conditions to control for the impact of heat on heart rate. Finally, inform the children that they must analyze and interpret the results of their experiment to reach a conclusion.

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