Below are two lists of scenarios where you could use the scientific method. For each of the items in the first list, you would be trying to solve a particular problem. For each of the items in the second list, you would be setting up a formal experiment to make an evaluation. Choose an item from one of these lists and write a clear, well-reasoned step by step description of how the scientific method would be used to solve the problem or make the evaluation. Identify each step, i.e., observation, question, hypothesis, etc. You are not expected to actually do the experiments. Additional instructions are given below.

List of problems that could be solved:

(If you choose an item from this list, don’t solve the problem on the first try. You should have at least a couple hypotheses.

  1. You discover the dishes in the dishwasher are not getting clean.
  2. You discover the vacuum is not picking up crumbs on the carpet.
  3. You discover that when you bake a chocolate cake using your favorite recipe, it tastes a little bit “off”.
  4. You discover a puddle of water on the basement floor when you get home from work. You clean it up, but the next day, there is another puddle.
  5. You discover that when you make your favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies they are flat.

List of inquiries requiring a formal experiment:

(If you choose an item from this list, don’t terminate your inquiry after the first experiment. You should formulate a second hypothesis and test it in order to gather additional, more specific information (like in the apple example).

  1. You want to find out if the new laundry detergent really does get whites whiter as the box claims.
  2. You want to find out if the new fertilizer really does make plants grow faster.
  3. You want to find out if the foaming shower cleaner really is more effective at removing soap scum than the leading brand.

Expect this assignment to be a page, or so.

I was thinking doing the “you discover the dishes in the dishwasher are not getting clean”, but whichever works best for you is fine.

 
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