Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Scientific method and the Engineering method

Scientific Method
  • The scientific method is a way to ask and answer scientific questions by making observations and doing experiments.
  • The steps of the scientific method are to:
      • Ask a Question
      • Do Background Research
      • Construct a Hypothesis
      • Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
      • Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
      • Communicate Your Results
    • It is important for your experiment to be a fair test. A "fair test" occurs when you change only one factor (variable) and keep all other conditions the same.
    • While scientists study how nature works, engineers create new things, such as products, websites, environments, and experiences.
      • If your project involves creating or inventing something new, your project might better fit the steps of The Engineering Design Process.
      • If you are not sure if your project is a scientific or engineering project, you should read Comparing the Engineering Design Process and the Scientific Method.
Engineering Method
    • The engineering design process is a series of steps that engineers follow to come up with a solution to a problem. Many times the solution involves designing a product (like a machine or computer code) that meets certain criteria and/or accomplishes a certain task.
      • This process is different from the Steps of the Scientific Method, which you may be more familiar with. If your project involves making observations and doing experiments, you should probably follow the Scientific Method. If your project involves designing, building, and testing something, you should probably follow the Engineering Design Process. If you still are not sure which process to follow, you should read Comparing the Engineering Design Process and the Scientific Method.
    • The steps of the engineering design process are to:
      • Define the Problem
      • Do Background Research
      • Specify Requirements
      • Brainstorm Solutions
      • Choose the Best Solution
      • Do Development Work
      • Build a Prototype
      • Test and Redesign
    • Engineers do not always follow the engineering design process steps in order, one after another. It is very common to design something, test it, find a problem, and then go back to an earlier step to make a modification or change to your design. This way of working is called iteration, and it is likely that your process will do the same!

Comparing Scientific Method and Engineering Method

    • If your project involves creating or inventing something new, your project might better fit the steps of The Engineering Design Process.
    • If you are not sure if your project is a scientific or engineering project, you should read Comparing the Engineering Design Process and the Scientific Method.While scientists study how nature works, engineers create new things, such as products, websites, environments, and experiences. Because engineers and scientists have different objectives, they follow different processes in their work. Scientists perform experiments using the scientific method; whereas, engineers follow the creativity-based engineering design process.Both processes can be broken down into a series of steps, as seen in the diagram and table.




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