How Can the Scientific Method Solve Real-World Problems?


 Students read short stories about how scientists used the scientific method to solve real problems.  

In the first case, Dr. Eijkman used observation to notice that chickens who ate polished rice became sick with beriberi.  He developed an experiment to determine what was causing the illness. Eijkman discovered the that rice did not have a vitamin chickens need.

Further studies lead to the conclusion that a vitamin deficiency could make both chickens and humans sick.  After reading the story, students identify the hypothesis, how the hypothesis was tested, and what conclusions were reached as a result of the experiment.

The second scenario provides a summary of how penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming. This accidental discovery lead to a major improvement in health care for humans across the world. Antibiotics!

Grade Level: 7-9  | Time Required: 20 min

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.