Creating your own science process model example

Share your examples of doing everyday science.

Science process model
Science process model. Illustration by Patrick Bird.

At its essence, science is asking questions and discovering answers. These are both things we all do every day, even though we may not realize it. In fact, we all begin life as curious scientists, constantly asking questions and discovering answers.

Since you are already asking questions and discovering answers every day, this activity will let you share your science process model examples with others so they can better understand what science is and get excited about doing science. You can be the teacher and help others learn more about science and how interesting it is every day.

Our 4-H science process model looks like this:

  • Ask a question: “I wonder...”
  • Research: “I search, investigate...”
  • Hypothesis: “I predict...”
  • Experiment: “I try, do...”
  • Collect data: “I observe, measure...”
  • Explain data: “I explain, tell...”
  • Ask new questions: “I wonder...”

Here is an everyday example.

Dirty hands

You have been out doing something and your hands have gotten dirty. It happens almost every day, right? As you work to get your hands clean, you are doing science following our science model.

Ask a question

How do I get my hands clean?


You are not going to stop to do research on dirty hands, but you have been doing this research for all of your life. You have years of experience getting your hands clean using soap or whatever else. You also probably know how your hands got dirty (dirt versus grease or oil or something else), so you have that information as well.


Again, you are probably not going to stop at this point and make a formal hypothesis, but in practice that is exactly what you do. You think (predict) that you can get the dirt off your hands using a bar of soap and water or whatever you decide is needed.

Design experiment

Your experiment is to wash your hands with a bar of soap and water.

Collect data

These are some pieces of data you will collect:

  • Observe how clean your hands get.
  • Observe the color of the soap suds as you scrub your hands.
  • Observe if any dirt comes off on the towel as you dry your hands.
  • Observe if your hands are clean or not yet clean enough.

Explain data

  • If your hands are clean: Yes, soap and water were able to clean my hands. My hypothesis was correct and now I have clean hands!
  • If your hands are still dirty: No, soap and water were not able to clean my hands. I will have to make a new hypothesis about how to clean my hands.

Ask new questions

  • What other soap could I try?
  • What if I used a scrub brush with the soap?
  • What if I used hot water when washing?

In the simple activity of getting dirty hands clean, you are doing science and can use the science model as a guide.

Here at the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden, we use the science process model every day by asking questions like how do plants grow? How much water do plants need? How long do flowers stay on the plant? How do bees pollinate plant flowers?

Now it is your turn to share your example of the science process model. Go to the Science Process Model Examples Form and type in your examples. Be sure to check your spelling and use complete sentences. We will compile your examples and report them on the Michigan State University Extension website.

Have some fun and we look forward to hearing from you!

Go to the Science Process Model Examples Form

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H Youth Development program help to create a community excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). 4-H STEM programming seeks to increase science literacy, introducing youth to the experiential learning process that helps them to build problem-solving, critical-thinking and decision-making skills. Youth who participate in 4-H STEM are better equipped with critical life skills necessary for future success.

To learn more about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth in STEM literacy programs, read our Impact Report: “Building Science Literacy and Future STEM Professionals.”

To learn more about MSU Extension, visit the MSU Extension website.

For more ways to share science with youth in your life, please explore the MSU Extension Science and Engineering website. For more information about 4-H learning opportunities and other 4-H programs, contact your local MSU Extension office.


The Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden is funded through the Michigan 4-H Foundation.

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