Science Corner: The Importance of the Scientific Method

The Importance of the Scientific Method | Elemental BloggingUsing the scientific method regularly will teach the student to look at all the evidence before making a statement of fact, which makes it an integral part of science education. If we want our students to be prepared for higher education science, they must be comfortable with this most fundamental process.

What is the scientific method?

In a nutshell, the scientific method teaches the brain to logically examine and process all the information it receives. It requires that one observes and tests before making a statement of fact. This is the main method scientists use when asking and answering questions.

A scientist follows the same steps each time he employs the scientific method.  They are:

  1. Ask a question
  2. Do some research
  3. Formulate a hypothesis
  4. Test with experimentation
  5. Record and analyze observations and results
  6. Draw a conclusion

Why is the scientific method important?

The scientific method is important for the homeschooler to  teach because it is a fundamental process in science, but the benefits of teaching your students this process will go beyond their science class.  Not only is the scientific method is integral to understanding science, but it is also a technique that trains the student how to answer a question in a logical manner.

This method teaches the student to analyze and process the information he is receiving.  It trains the brain to logically examine and process all the information it receives.

How can I incorporate the scientific method into my homeschool?

The student needs to have used the scientific method over and over until it becomes a natural habit. It will take years for a student to fully etch this process into his mind.

So, the scientific method is something that you need to begin teaching from the very start.  That said, teaching this process will look different for the various age groups.  Here is a brief breakdown of how you can incorporate this method into your instructional time at each age.

  1. Elementary Years – The best way to introduce the scientific method to elementary students is to model it for them using scientific demonstrations.
  2. Middle School Years – During the middle school years, you can use experiments every week to teach portions of the scientific method.  In these years, you can also add the science fair project, which will allow the student to utilize the scientific method from start to finish in a controlled fashion.
  3. High School Years – The high school student should continue doing experiments that relate to what they are studying.  If the student is inclined towards science, they can also do a more elaborate version of the science fair project.

However you choose to incorporate the scientific method into your science teaching time, it’s important that you take the time to do so.  Your efforts will pave the way for your student to receive an excellent education in the sciences.

by Paige Hudson