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Division of Marketing and Development
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Mayo Building, M-9
407 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0800
(850) 487-8000

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Charles H. Bronson, Commissioner

The Scientific Method

This web site provides ideas that help incorporate agriculture into science. But first, how do you begin a science project? What is involved?

There is a step-by-step process called the "scientific method" which helps you complete your science fair project. Let's get started!

1. Choose a topic.

Choose a topic that seems interesting to you and is one you want to know more about. If you already have an idea, that's great! If you don't, look at the ideas at this web site or begin looking through books, magazines, and newspapers. Talk to your parents, friends, teachers or media specialists. Visit your library, local museums or universities. Educational television programming can also give you ideas to explore. Make sure the topic you choose is one that you can experiment with yourself.

2. State a purpose for your project.

What do you want to discover about your topic?

Make a statement or ask a question. Example: The color of a container affects plant growth.

If your title is a question, the purpose of your project is to provide an answer. Example: How do you determine the age of a tree?

Begin recording all information in a log book or diary.

3. Come up with a hypothesis of your idea.

Based on what you know, try to guess how your project will turn out, what your experiments will reveal. This is your best guess -- your hypothesis.

There is no right or wrong answer here. As you do your project, you should try to determine if your hypothesis is true. When tested, it will help you accomplish your purpose. A hypothesis is a statement for which you find an answer.

4. Decide on a procedure.

How will you go about your research? Your experiment?

A. Research
Collect information to help you answer your question. Use books, magazines, interviews, and television. Try contacting businesses, government offices, etc. Record your information in your log book.

B. Experiment
Test your hypothesis by experimenting. Make observations and carefully record your results. Repeat your experiment to verify the results.

5. Record your results.

Use a notebook to record all information or data, make charts and graphs, draw pictures or use videotape to show your results. Give facts, not opinions. If your experiment uses measurements, then give those exact measurements. Do not use terms such as about, more or less, close to, etc.

6. Come to a conclusion.

What did your project teach you? Even if your experiment proved your hypothesis was not true, you have learned something. What is your project's importance? Science Project Topic Ideas

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