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Scientific Experiments

The controlled study of real world phenomena.

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A Hairy Experiment

A Hairy Experiment

Credit: Steven Terrebonne
Source: CK-12 Foundation
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Shopping for shampoo can be confusing. There are so many different types to choose from! One type claims it will make your hair less frizzy. Another claims it will give your hair more volume. Which type should you choose? And whichever type you choose, will it really do for your hair what it promises?

News You Can Use

  • When you have questions like these, knowing how to do a scientific experiment comes in handy. You can do a simple experiment to test the claims made by a product such as shampoo.
  • Credit: Classic Film
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29069717@N02/9738189816/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    How would you design an experiment to test the claims of this shampoo? [Figure2]

  • Let’s say you decide to test two different brands of anti-frizz shampoo. How do you go about it? Listen to this song about the scientific method for guidance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA86dYxrg4Q

Can You Apply It?

At the links below, learn more about shampoos and ideas for shampoo experiments. Then answer the following questions.

  1. State a question about shampoo that you could test with a simple scientific experiment.
  2. Write a hypothesis that provides a testable, possible answer to your question.
  3. Make a prediction based on your hypothesis.
  4. Describe an experiment to test your hypothesis and prediction.
  5. Identify the variables in your experiment. One should be the manipulated variable and one should be the responding variable.
  6. What variables will you control in your experiment? List at least three controls.
  7. What data will you collect, and how will you collect it?
  8. Describe possible outcomes of your experiment. Relate each outcome to your original hypothesis.
  9. How might doing scientific experiments like this one make you a more informed consumer?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Steven Terrebonne; Source: CK-12 Foundation; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Classic Film; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29069717@N02/9738189816/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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