Testing The Hypothesis

Learning Objectives

  • Students will conduct an experiment in order to determine the origin of a family artifact.
  • Students will determine whether the results from an experiment successfully determined the origin of a family artifact.
  • Students summarize results from the experiment in order to prove or disprove their hypotheses.


Tool And Materials

  • If necessary for the experiment, students will need to bring in their interesting items or a sample of this item.Other materials will vary based on the actual experiments students will be performing.


Teaching Stratedgies

  • Have students choose one experiment of the four they have created. Base this choice on the students' ability to perform the test, as well as the ability to perform the test without any possible damage to the item being tested.Students should bring in both the item to be tested and whatever materials they need to perform the test. If students need assistance in finding these items, provide whatever aid is possible. Provide students time to complete the experiment.
  • Once students have completed the experiment, they should create an analysis for you. Have students provide the following information in their analysis report: did the test support or disprove their hypothesis; if correct, is there any additional evidence they can determine to support their hypotheses and is the test conclusive; if incorrect, does this absolutely disprove the test and what are other possible hypotheses to test.
  • If time permits and students' hypothesis was correct, you may have them test another item. If time permits and students' hypothesis was incorrect, you may have them form a new hypothesis and create a test for that hypothesis.
  • Additionally, you may wish to have students present a summary of their analysis report to the class. Ensure that each student is given time to speak during the presentation and that students present both positive and negative results of their experiments.


Standards From MCREL Standards


Standard 2.11: Understands the basis of scientific knowledge

  • Knows that scientific explanations must meet certain criteria to be considered valid (e.g., they must be consistent with experimental and observational evidence about nature, make accurate predictions about systems being studied, be logical, respect the rules of evidence, be open to criticism, report methods and procedures, make a commitment to making knowledge public).

Standard 2.12: Understands the nature of scientific inquiry

  • Understands the use of hypotheses in science (e.g., selecting and narrowing the focus of data, determining additional data to be gathered; guiding the interpretation of data).
  • Designs and conducts scientific investigations (e.g., formulates testable hypotheses; identifies and clarifies the method, controls, and variables; organizes, displays, and analyzes data; revises methods and explanations; presents results; receives critical response from others).
  • Uses technology (e.g., hand tools, measuring instruments, calculators, computers) and mathematics (e.g., measurement, formulas, charts, graphs) to perform accurate scientific investigations and communications.
  • Knows that scientists conduct investigations for a variety of reasons (e.g., to discover new aspects of the natural world, to explain recently observed phenomena, to test the conclusions of prior investigations, to test the predictions of current theories).


Standard 3.1: Understands and knows how to analyze chronological relationships and patterns

  • Knows how to develop picture time lines of their own lives or their family's history.
  • Understands patterns of change and continuity in the historical succession of related events.


Standard 3.2: Understands the historical perspective

  • Knows how to evaluate the credibility and authenticity of historical sources .


Standard 21.4: Understands and applies basic principles of hypothesis testing and scientific inquiry

  • Presents alternative explanations and conclusions to one's own experiments and those of others.
  • Critiques procedures, explanations, and conclusions in one's own experiments and those of others.
  • Gathers and analyzes field data using spatial sampling (e.g., place a transparent grid of squares on maps to count whether two characteristics such as corn production and hogs that are hypothesized to be spatially related coexist within the grid cells).


Standard 21.5: Applies basic trouble-shooting and problem-solving techniques

  • Selects the most appropriate strategy or alternative for solving a problem.
  • Examines different alternatives for resolving local problems and compares the possible consequences of each alternative.
  • Represents a problem accurately in terms of resources, constraints, and objectives.
  • Provides summation of the effectiveness of problem-solving techniques.
  • Reframes problems when alternative solutions are exhausted.
  • Evaluates the feasibility of various solutions to problems; recommends and defends a solution.


Standard 21.6: Applies decision-making techniques

  • Secures factual information needed to evaluate alternatives.
  • Predicts the consequences of selecting each alternative.
  • Makes decisions based on the data obtained and the criteria identified.


Standard 22: Working With Others

  • Contributes to the overall effort of a group.
  • Displays effective interpersonal communication skills.
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