The scientific method is a universally accepted, organized approach to the study of science. It consists of the following:
- a reasonable hypothesis, based on completed background reading
- relevant research (often including experiments) so you can evaluate your hypothesis
- observations and data
- summary of results
- conclusions relating directly to your hypothesis
- a discussion and explanation of the results (unexpected or expected), including ideas on how the project might be expanded and how results might be applied in the future
You may choose to do an experimental or non-experimental/research project.
- Experimental projects: These projects involve testing a hypothesis under controlled conditions using the scientific method. As the researcher, you control several variables, manipulate one variable in a controlled way, and then measure record and analyze the responses variably to reach a conclusion.
- Non-experimental/research projects: These projects include surveys, model construction, computer programming, engineering design, and literature surveys.
You may choose to do an experimental project, an innovation, or a study.
- Experimental projects: These projects involve testing a hypothesis under controlled conditions using the scientific method. As the researcher, you control several variables, manipulate one variable in a controlled way, and then measure record and analyze the responding variable, to reach your conclusion.
- Innovation projects: These projects focus on the development and evaluation of innovative devices, models, or techniques in technology, engineering, or computers (hardware or software). As the researcher, you should demonstrate an understanding of the properties of the materials/methods used, the reasons for choosing them, and the effectiveness of your design. Test your innovation and modify it if you discover shortcomings during testing.
- Study Projects: These projects involve the collection and analysis of data to reveal evidence of a fact or a situation of scientific interest. They could include a study of cause and effect relationships or theoretical investigations of scientific data.