Memorizing the Steps of the Scientific Method: A Guide for Students

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The scientific method is the system used for every science experiment. This system helps us to prove whether what we think is fact is actually fact or not. Use these tips to help memorize the steps of the scientific method.

The Five Categories

The scientific method consists of five categories/steps as listed below.

  1. Observations and Measurements. This portion consists of what you see. Based on what you have observed, you come to certain conclusions. For instance, you may have noticed that you are warmer wearing a black shirt than a white shirt.
  2. Hypothesis. This portion is where you come up with possible reasons for your observation. In the case of a white shirt vs. a black one, you may think that darker colors absorb more heat than lighter colors.
  3. Experiments. This part is of course, where you test your theory. You may do something like lay various colored shirts in the sun and then measure the temperature of them.
  4. Theory. The theory is an idea that has been proven correct over at least one experiment, but usually more than that.
  5. Law. If the theory passes enough experiments that prove it correct and none that prove it incorrect it becomes a law. The law is very specific and consists of mathematical equations and statements.

How to Remember

Now that you know the specifics of the scientific method, look at the tips below that will help your child remember the steps of the scientific method.

  • Use the first letters of each step of the scientific method to create a saying that your child will remember, such as “Over Here Everyone That’s Little” or “Ouch, Hey Ed That’s Loud!”
  • Use simple rationale of everyday situations to remind them of the scientific method. For instance, your child observes you in a good mood. They come up with a hypothesis that because you are in a good mood you will let them stay up late. The child tests the hypothesis in an experiment by asking you if they can stay up past their bedtime. Sometimes you say “yes” and sometimes you say “no”, making the hypothesis a theory because it has not been proven entirely correct or entirely incorrect. The theory only becomes a law when it is correct all the time. For instance, if you say “yes” every time then it would become law. If you say “yes” every tenth time then the law would be that you say “yes” every tenth time. Or, you may say “no” every time and then there becomes a law that tells the child not to bother asking because you always say no. (Of course children being children will repeatedly test this particular theory.)