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Scientific Method

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The scientific method is a process that allows one to identify a problem and come up with a solution. There are five steps in the scientific methods which are observation, question, hypothesis, prediction, and experiment. Our assignment's activity this week gave us two options. We were to use the scientific method to perform either a tomato plant experiment or a car experiment. With the car experiment you begin the first step of the scientific method using observation. You walk out to your car and turn the key but nothing happens. You observe that the car is not working properly and something is wrong. The next step is to question what is wrong with the car. Is it the battery? Is it gas? Or is it an electrical problem? Select one of the questions and this will be your hypothesis on why the car is not working. Then you make a prediction and since I chose the electrical problem hypothesis. Then my prediction for the solution would be to either replace the spark plugs or fuses. My prediction was the care would start if I replace the fuses. Now I put my prediction into action by performing my experiment with replacing the fuses. I replaced the fuses in my experiment and it resulted in the car starting. This experiment also supported my hypothesis, if it did not I would have to go back and revise my hypothesis.

Many do not realize it but we use the scientific method in our everyday lives as well. About two weeks ago I was having problems with my air conditioner. My observation of the air conditioner was that it was not blowing very much cold air out. Then I asked myself why it was not working properly. It could be that it needs more Freon or that the unit needs to be cleaned. I thought the air conditioner was low on Freon so this became my hypothesis. My prediction to the problem would be to just refill the air conditioner with more Freon. I performed the experiment by taking apart the air conditioner and refilling the Freon in the unit. Unfortunately this was not the solution and I needed to go back and revise my hypothesis.

I decided to take another look at my air conditioner and noticed that there was quite a bit of algae, dirt, and other stuff covering the condenser coils and filters. My new prediction was that if I cleaned the coils and the filters it might restore air flow back to the air conditioner. I took apart my air conditioner again and with an old toothbrush and the garden hose I cleaned every inch of my air conditioner. I then put it back together and hit the power button. Success!!! My air conditioner was blowing out air like it was brand new. This had confirmed my hypothesis and saved me some money too, since now I did not need to go buy a new air conditioner.



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