How to Teach the Scientific Method in High School
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What you want to do is to
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How to Teach the Scientific Method in High School

Hi, I’m Emilee with OMSI for About.com. Today we are going to be doing an experiment where we talk about the scientific method for high school students.

Mentos and Soda Science Experiment

If you put Mentos in a carbonated beverage, the Mentos will cause all the carbonation to come out of the beverage and it will shoot very high. We want to see if we can change things up a little bit with some of these different sodas and see if we can cause the height of our geyser to be higher or lower.

Applying the Scientific Method to the Experiment

Our observations today are that all of these sodas are the same size, they are different brands, they are all diet sodas, but only one of them is not caffeinated. My hypothesis is that will make this one (the orange soda) shoot higher.

I am going to screw this geyser tube down on top. These geyser tubes have little holes in them. I am going to stick a rod through those and that will prevent the Mentos from coming down right away.

Put those Mentos in the geyser tubes. You could get away with doing five in here, maybe even four, but six is going to give us a nice stream.

Three, two, one.

Test the Variable with the Scientific Method

So, the variable we were looking at today was caffeine. Well, it looked to me that it wasn’t the Orange Crush that went the highest. It looked to me like it was the root beer. So, that refutes my hypothesis. It doesn’t support that the Orange Crush, being the one that was not caffeinated goes the highest.

Using the Scientific Method to Form Conclusions

When you have your observations about whatever the activity is that you are doing in class, and you have your students come up with their hypotheses about it, then it’s time to design your experiment. Designing your experiment is one of the most important parts. What you want to do is try to prove your hypothesis wrong. Really, your hypothesis is what you think is going to happen, but the strongest way you can test that is to try your hardest to prove it wrong.

I’m Emilee with OMSI for About.com. Thanks for watching.