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Science · Earth sciences
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Scenario:   You are cleaning up from a party. You’ve collected all of the used plastic cups and are trying to decide how to dispose of them. They look just like regular plastic cups, but the guest who brought them mentioned that they were biodegradable. Use the scientific method to describe how you would determine whether they are really biodegradable. (Assume that there are no markings on the cups that indicate whether or not they are biodegradable.)

  1. Define a problem. (Come up with a simple question to be answered based on the scenario above.)
  2. Write a hypothesis to be tested. (The hypothesis should be a statement. It should be the expected answer to your question.)
  3. Design a simple experiment to test your hypothesis. (Be sure the results of the experiment will be able to either support or refute the hypothesis. If not, you will need to adjust either your hypothesis or your experiment or both.)
  4. Write a possible result from the experiment that would support your hypothesis. What conclusion would you draw from that result?
  5. Write a possible result from the experiment that would refute your hypothesis. What conclusion would you draw from that result?
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