Once you've reviewed the Scientific Method and Selected Your Project, its time to Form Your Problem Statement and Hypothesis for Grades 2-5. If your Project is for Grades K-1, click here to switch to K-1 page.
What is the Problem Statement?
The Problem Statement is the question you are trying to answer with the project, the reason for doing the experiment.
For example: “On which type of bread will grow mold the fastest?”
What must be included in this section of your Presentation Board?
This section only needs to be one sentence long, but must be in the form of a question.
Make sure the Problem Statement is only testing one thing. For example, an experiment should not test which type of bread will grow mold the fastest and which type will grow mold the slowest. That would be doing two experiments in one and could confuse the results.
For example, if someone is testing different types of bread and the hypothesis says that sourdough bread will grow mold the fastest and wheat bread will grow mold the slowest, it will be a problem if one part comes true and the other doesn’t. When it’s time for the last section of the scientific method, they will not know whether to accept or reject the hypothesis.
Remember to title this section of your Presentation Board “Problem Statement.”
What is the Hypothesis?
A Hypothesis is an educated guess of what you think will happen when you do your experiment, and should be written as a cause and effect statement. Labeled variables can be included in your prediction. You need to include reasons for your thinking. You can include your labeled variables in your prediction.
For example: “If a plant gets more light (manipulated variable), then it will grow taller (responding variable) because plants need light to grow. A fifth grade statement should be an “If . . . then . . . because . . . ” statement.
What must be included in this section on your Presentation Board?
The Hypothesis must be a cause and effect statement. It only needs to be one sentence long, but can be two sentences. The first is “If . . . (manipulated variable), then ... (responding variable)” and the second sentence is why you think what you do.
Make sure the hypothesis only predicts one outcome. Then, you will clearly know whether the hypothesis is right or not.
Remember to title this section of your Presentation Board “ Hypothesis.”