Step 3: Present Your Information
What did you find out?
You’ve explained your steps and why you chose to take them.
Now show what you found out. This information might include:
measurements of changes in an environment
descriptions of collected samples
photos or illustrations of what you observed
facts you found as you gathered and analyzed your information
Use both words and visual aids to explain your observations and information. This makes it easier for the person reading your report to understand what you're explaining. Visual aids might include:
Example in Action
an excerpt from a student scientist's report.
What might your results mean?
To answer this question, you’ve got to put on your thinking
cap. This is where you describe the analysis of your results.
Think about what you expected to happen way back before you made
observations and performed your experiments. You created a hypothesis
to help answer your big question. But now your data
give you information to judge your hypothesis. Were you able to
prove or disprove it? Does the analysis of your data suggest an
alternative hypothesis or move your investigation beyond your initial
question? Remember to explain why what you found out changed your
mind or made you more convinced about your hypothesis.
As you write, think about these questions:
How do the data support your hypothesis?
How do the data disprove or differ from
What other possibilities might your data suggest?
Example in Action
See an excerpt from
a student scientist's report.
Don't be surprised if some or all of the data you collect seem to go against your hypothesis. The point of testing a hypothesis is to develop it, change it, and follow where it leads.
The most interesting part of your report might be what surprised you. Discovering a new trail to follow that's different from your hypothesis isn't a failure; it's a scientific success!