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Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

The Broken Flashlight and the Scientific Method

This experiment requires that one person alters in secret a flashlight so that it does not work. The person tries to figure out why it is not working, but must use the scientific method to determine why it is not working. 1. Make observations
2. Form hypothesis that explains observations.
3. Perform experiments that test the hypothesis.
The data from these experiments with either contradict the hypothesis which means you need to go back to step 2 again, or the data supports the hypothesis, which means...
4. The hypothesis is now a theory.
5.Relevant data must be collected over a long period of time. If this data contradicts the theory then you must go back to step 2. If the data supports the theory...
6. The theory is now a law.
However, Sam thought that the rubber ring somehow held the batteries from connecting and sought to prove this. In the process of taking the rubber ring from the flashlight, he accidentally poured the batteries out. In the process of putting the batteries back in, he fixed the flashlight because Steven had turned the batteries around to alter the flashlight. So, Sam, wrongly thought he had fixed the flashlight by taking out the rubber ring. This was perfect for illustrating the point that just because an experiment seems to support your hypothesis, it takes relevant data over a long period of time to confirm this. I put the rubber ring back and showed Sam that the flashlight still worked; he was then able to readjust his hypothesis to include the batteries.

source: Exploring Creation with General Science, Jay Wile

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