Teaching the Scientific Method: Hypothesis

Previously, we explained the importance of asking questions. Now let’s talk about what to do with that information. Using the information that we gathered from our observation we can make a Hypothesis. This is a possible explanation to a phenomenon that was identified earlier. It is important to remember that a hypothesis must be a claim that can be tested.

The Big Bang Theory

In this clip from The Big Bang Theory Leonard makes a claim that he believes is true: “Howard can take any topic and use it to remind you that he went to space.” Sheldon and Leonard then conduct experiments to see if this claim is true. The key aspect here is that their claim was something that could be proven true or false. Their hypothesis was testable. Their hypothesis was also not a wild guess that they came up with. They used previous information and observations about their friend to form their claim.

Family Matters

A hypothesis must always be demonstatable. As shown in this clip from Family Matters, Steve Urkle believes that he can increase the size of objects with his new invention. He supports this claim with a lot of complex science but he can also show that it is possible physically. Steve expands an ordinary to brush to ten times its size. This proves that his hypothesis was correct.

A hypothesis doesn’t always need to be difficult to demonstrate. Ask your students to make simple, testable claims about some of the things around them. For example, a book dropped from the air will fall to the ground; when the temperature of water rises high enough, it will turn into vapor. These are all educated claims made from preexisting information and they can all be tested to see if it is true.

A hypothesis helps to explain events and phenomenons around us. Stay tuned for our future articles about the other steps of the Scientific Method:

At ClassHook, we have many other videos from movies and TV shows that exemplify the Scientific Method at work. Check out more of them here.

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