CHM 1020 Project #1:

The Scientific Method/Controlled Experiment Paper:

Conceptual Chemistry 5th Edition by John Suchocki


Scientific Observations Assignment:


 Our syllabus includes the FSCJ CHM 1020 Nine Section Learning Outcomes & Assessments. Section #6 of this district course outline model has the following:

Outcome #3. Demonstrate knowledge of Scientific Method by
     a. Formulate problem,
     b.  Make observations,

     c. Derive and test hypothesis and

     d. Make conclusions.

Each science course at FSCJ has this learning outcome. The district science council has defined that all science classes at FSCJ will accomplish this outcome via one of two methods:

  1. Analyze an experiment that demonstrates the use of the scientific method
  2. Analyze an article in a scientific journal where the scientific method is used

So instead of performing an experiment or looking at an article for this course we will watch an old Sci-fi Hollywood movie which demonstrates the scientific method in use. The film may be boring today by today standards as it is not an action thriller and spends too much time on the scientific method. See the film review below:



  1. To understand or distinguish between and apply the words: science, scientific law, scientific method, scientific model, theory, experiment, controlled experiment, and hypothesis.


  1. To gain experience in recording and explaining experimental observations through a Hollywood movie of novel.


  1. To observe the scientific method in action by “Hollywood Scientists” in the movie.


  1. To recognize that the human body needs to be sterilized before working in a sterile lab or otherwise the human needs to wear a clean suit with a self contained breathing apparatus so as to not contaminate the environment.


  1. To understand pH, acidosis, and alkalosis


A hypothesis is frequently proven invalid although not always immediately. Historically, chemists and physicists have been slow to abandon an acceptable theory in order to adopt a new one. Scientists exercise caution in drawing conclusions, knowing that nature reveals itself in glimpses and at times appears contradictory. Hypotheses may be discarded, modified, or on a rare occasion, after rigorous testing, be elevated to the status of a scientific law or theory


Read Chapter 1 Section 1.4 & Watch video #CO104a (13:21 Minutes)

Movie Film: Andromeda Strain – 1971

Editorial Review:
The best-selling novel by Michael Crichton was faithfully adapted for this taut 1971 thriller, about a team of scientists racing against time to destroy a deadly alien virus that threatens to wipe out life on Earth. As usual with any Crichton-based movie, the emphasis is on an exciting clash between nature and science, beginning when virologists discover the outer-space virus in a tiny town full of corpses. Projecting total contamination, the scientists isolate the deadly strain in a massive, high-tech underground lab facility, which is rigged for nuclear destruction if the virus is not successfully controlled.
The movie spends a great deal of time covering the scientific procedures of the high-pressure investigation, and the rising tensions between scientists who have been forced to work in claustrophobic conditions.

It's all very fascinating if you're interested in scientific method and technological advances, although the film is obviously dated in many of its details. It's more effective as a thriller in which tension is derived not only from the deadly threat of the virus, but from the escalating fear and anxiety among the small group of people who've been assigned to save the human race. The basic premise is still captivating; it's easy to see how this became the foundation of Crichton's science-thriller empire. --Jeff Shannon


Of the 70 points project/paper/activity portion of the course, this project counts 10 points: 1.   5 points for watching and taking notes during the 2:08 movie and
2.   5 points for completing the required district question form and writing an analysis
     of the film (minimum 2 to 4 (or more) double spaced word processed pages including:

a.    Define the Problem

b.    Describe the procedures used to allow the scientists access to the facility call ‘Wildfire”

c.    Describe examples of the use of the scientific method through experimentation

d.    Describe the chemistry principles discovered to solve the problem.(Section 10.3 Chapter 10)

e.    Your comments


 Students may check this movie out from the FSCJ  Library, Public Library or even purchase the video. The movie is available o NETFLIX. Purchase from  New $9.49; Used From $2.53.


You may take your notes on the separate handout.


Chemistry is the branch of science that studies matter and the changes matter undergoes. Science can be defined simply as organized knowledge. Scientific knowledge is gathered systematically by performing thoughtful experiments, carefully recording observations, and ultimately drawing some conclusions. This procedure is known as the Scientific Method and it involves three possibly new vocabulary words:


  1. Experiment – collecting data by observation of chemical changes under controlled conditions.
  2. Hypothesis – formulating a tentative proposal to correlate and explain the experimental data.
  3. Theory – stating a formal theory or scientific law after extensive testing of the hypothesis.


   Chapter 1: Suchocki’s Scientific Method Flow Chart:





                                    A  Simpler Scientific Method Flow Chart






                             A  Better Scientific Method Flow Chart